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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox Aug. 11th, 2023

As you read this, we’re sitting in our quarterly, all day, management team EOS L10 meeting.  So, I wrote this last night. If anything newsworthy comes through the inbox today, I’ll include it next week.

I returned to the office this week after two weeks away (some vacay, some working remotely), so it’s appropriate to find an article about people really returning to the office.  The article was from Crain’s so it’s behind a paywall, but the graphic below shows a significant gap between the Midwest and the rest of the country in terms of getting people back to offices.  I did find it interesting to read one analyst’s statement that “it’s easier for midwesterners to get to the office, and that’s why they go.”  If you ask me, I’d look at the other three regions and think how easy it must be for them to get to the office, since there’s clearly no rush hour traffic…

Scroll down to read more about data deletion, underground housing, cyber insurance, and more.

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Bitcoin Laundering

If you’ve ever wanted to launder some stolen bitcoin, this husband and wife couple could probably lead you in the right direction. At least the first couple of steps, before the getting arrested part.  

Volt Typhoon

News about another of China’s state-sponsored hacking efforts, “Volt Typhoon” continues to come out.  As this article states, ” responders have found it planted inside numerous networks controlling the communications, power, and water feeding US military bases at home and abroad”.  That’s comforting.

California Delete Act

The State of California is looking to pass new legislation that would put restrictions on the data brokers that make it so easy for you to search a person’s name and get a ton of information about them, including address, phone number, voting registration status, etc.  With the legislation, data brokers will be required to provide opt out options for consumers, while also creating a registry similar to “do not call”.  However, it doesn’t sound like there’s any way to actually enforce this legislation if it passes. Our government at work…

Living Underground

In Australia, there’s a town where more than half the people live underground.  And the temperature is always 73 degrees.  Maybe the surrounding area is desolate enough that nobody cares to look out their windows, anyway.

Cyber Insurance

On more than one occasion, we’ve worked with a new client who “diligently” filled out a cyber liability questionnaire presented to them by their insurance carrier.  In many of those cases, the company in question just checked the boxes and answered ‘yes’ where they figured they were supposed to.  It turns out that many insurance carriers don’t even bother to check the validity of the respondent’s answers.  No wonder the market place is a mess.

Typing Your Password

Our security partners at Sophos put out a good newsletter, and oftentimes, I click through based on an interesting title.  But once I get into it, I find the piece to be totally into the technical weeds and way over my head.  That happened here, but if I’m reading this one correctly, researchers have proven that hackers can record the audio of people typing in their passwords, and then determine said passwords based on sounds alone.  Hmmm.  Suggestions for defending ones self include learning to be lighter on the keys (“touch typing”) and going to a secure area to enter your password (rather than doing it in a conference room full of shady people). No mention of taking off the tinfoil hat while doing so.


Security Updates

Security updates this week include those from AdobeMicrosoft, and Fortinet. If you don’t have a standardized and automated patching solution in place, you should put that at the top of your list. 

Nancy's Nuggets

I thought Nancy was on a roll this week, as she kept sending me items for inclusion herein.  But as I sat down to review, I realized that the article on resolving the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle was clickbait. And the factoid that 53% of online clothing purchases that are returned are due to improper fit was interesting, but the corresponding website selling software that allows users to have a body scan to determine their precise measurements was too specific to the clothing industry.  

That left the online toaster museum.  And since I now have a section for the things that Nancy sends my way, I had to include it. If online isn’t good enough for you, you can visit the museum on your next trip to Germany.

A friend of mine in Florida (who’s from Cleveland) sent me an article bragging about the fact that Floridians drink more beers per 18 hole round than do golfers in any other state (Ohio was just less than one off, and in 8th place). That pairs well with the data I shared a few weeks back which used geolocation to determine how many rounds of golf are being played.  

I wonder if there’s a correlation to the fact that Florida has the highest percentage of any state in terms of residents over the age of 75 (8.62%), while also having the fifth highest median age (42.7 years)?

Have a great weekend.


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