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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox Sept. 8th, 2023

The best part about a long weekend is the short work week that follows! And even with one day less, the inbox was jam-packed this week.  Scroll down to read about business email compromises, hidden potatoes, SIM-swapping, and more. 

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Business Email Compromise

Business Email Compromise (BEC); your business email account has been breached by hackers who wait and watch your comings and goings.  At the first good opportunity, they step in and email a client, acting as you.  They suggest that you’ve changed your bank routing info for that payment you’re waiting on, or send out an update from the HR department, requesting personally identifiable information from your employees. It happens all the time and it’s not always easy to catch.  We recently saw somebody send $90K out the door after a vendor was compromised and sent an email saying they’d changed their bank account and routing info.  Here are the top 10 BEC tactics for 2023.  

For more about BEC at a somewhat technical level, you can read about the W3LL group and how they’ve compromised thousands of corporate Microsoft 365 accounts around the world. 


United had the FAA initiate a ground stop on all of their flights earlier this week, due to a technology glitch (not a hack). And then Delta was faced with a bit of a mess on one of their overseas flights.  The joys of travel…  


We don’t do much (if anything) in the way of supporting Google Chromebooks, but I was surprised to read about the fact that they turn into nice doorstops for all the schools that purchase them. 

Cleveland Sports

So, maybe it’s a stretch to say this is about Cleveland sports, but there are definitely strong ties.   I’ve always known former Browns coach Bill Belichick to be a huge fan of lacrosse (and former college player), but this was a pretty interesting article about how involved in the sport he really is.  

And it was 36 years ago last week that a backup catcher in the Indians minor league system pulled off the hidden potato trick. I remember hearing about it when it happened, and had forgotten about it until now.  

Real Estate

Anybody up for a house on a cliff? If not a cliff, maybe something on the water…

Some time back, I posted a piece about the Cleveland harbor lighthouse being up for sale.  Final bids are in and the winning one came in a $425K.  No articles yet that aren’t behind paywalls, but the 1,800 SF building has no public utilities.  Sounds like solar and a generator would be a good addition!


One of our senior engineers was kind enough to send me this info on SIM-swapping, as a reminder of why we do everything we can to DISable text message-based multifactor authentication.  You know, the kind you get as a message on your phone.  With SIM-swapping, hackers port unsuspecting users’ phone numbers to other devices.  They then have access to the MFA  verification, allowing them to gain access to networks.  Even a big player in the cybersecurity world has been hacked this way.  

Valuable Customers

Our EVP Travis often sends me interesting articles that he comes across.  I actually have a folder in my mailbox labeled ‘Travis Stuff’ for all these items that he sends; I read them, file them, and never see them again.  

This one is all about the value of a customer, and shows that, while Apple has a significantly smaller customer base than does Google (in terms of app store usage), their revenues are actually significantly larger. Because Apple makes an effort to attract the more valuable customers-rather than just the most customers.

Nancy's Nuggets

Make sure to check out all of that thrift store art you’ve bought.  You never know when you’ll have a six figure painting sitting on the mantle!

And here’s my new favorite sport!

If you like beer and you’re looking for something to do this weekend, I’d suggest checking out Washington St., from Chagrin Falls through Auburn.  Last night we played trivia (and sampled lots of beer) at Bummin’ Beaver Brewery in Auburn. And last week, we made our first trip to Pompatus Brewing Company in Bainbridge (anybody know why my US classmate Steve Miller named his brewery Pompatus?). 


In addition to those two Washington St. breweries, there are also Crooked Pecker and 8th Day.  The total between the four is seven miles. None of them serve food, but there are often food trucks on hand and you’re welcome to bring your own pizzas/sandwiches/etc. And they all have lots of good beer!

And while I didn’t have any margaritas last night, I did have a good cheeseburger on Wednesday night.  Have a great weekend, and Go Bucks!


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