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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox Oct. 6th, 2023

There was so much good stuff in my inbox this week that I didn’t have room for all of it.  So, I’ve already started on next week’s edition. It’s been a busy week here at Ashton, with the other Jim in Wisconsin doing due diligence work for a client making an acquisition and Travis in Chicago for his industry peer group meetings.  And mixed in with the usual prospect meetings, a handful of us had the opportunity to be on site with a new client yesterday when they brought the Hofbrau House food truck to their office. It’s always nice to be included as part of the team, rather than just a vendor!  

 

I’ll start this week with a great tribute to recently retired Indians manager Tito Francona. Glad I made it to his last home game last week, but he’s going to be a tough one to replace.  I’d love to see him go into the HoF with a Cleveland jersey on, but with two Series wins in Boston, I’m sure he’ll wearing Red Sox. If you don’t like baseball, you can scroll down for tower running, plogging, cookie hijacking, and more.

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Ransomware Costs

My son tracks consumer products in the personal care, beverages, and cleaning products field in his role at Barclay’s.  He mentioned yesterday that he’d spent the past day and half digging into the mess that Clorox has on its hands after an August breach, suspected of being due to ransomware.  Rather than the predicted quarterly profit of $150M, Clorox is facing a loss, with sales down almost 30% thanks to the inability to produce product (with share price also dropping by 23%).  

 

At the same time, MGM, whose Las Vegas properties were hit by the same hacking group as Clorox a few weeks back, expects a $100M total cost of cleaning up their hack and data breach. 

Plogging

Every now and then, I have to “sprint” down the driveway on Monday morning, having forgotten to take the garbage and recycling to the end of the driveway on Sunday night.  Now that I know ‘plogging’ is an actual sport, maybe I should head over to Italy.

Webster's

While not on the level of the OED, Webster’s has added 690 new words to their dictionary. Included are “smishing” (using SMS/text message to ‘phish’ for a user’s login credentials), “Generative AI” (think ChatGPT), and “kayfabe” (a tacit agreement to behave as if something is real, sincere, or genuine when it’s not- like Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are doing).

Old PCs

Trying to get a little extra life out of your PC before you have to replace it? As long as the operating system is up to date (to prevent any security issues), there are a handful of things you (or we) can do to extend the life of that old box.

Cookie Hijacking

No, this isn’t what you do at midnight when you can’t sleep and decide to go to the kitchen.  It has to do with stealing Facebook accounts, which evidently have a value on the black market.  And while everybody says “I don’t use Facebook any longer” the number of users globally continues to increase. 

Tower Running

The 45th annual Empire State Building Run-Up race was held this past Wednesday night in NYC, and my calves are cramping at the thought of 86 floors up! And since no competition can seem legit without a governing body, there’s the TowerRunning World Association and its 200+ races around the world.

Dropbox Phishing

There’s a new business email compromise (BEC) scam making the rounds, and it’s difficult to spot.  This one is an email letting the recipient know that they have a Dropbox file to download.  And while the original URL is from Dropbox (seems legit), they are redirected to a Microsoft URL (big red flag) as the hackers look to harvest Microsoft Sharepoint login creds. 

Exploding Whales

There’s a new business email compromise (BEC) scam making the rounds, and it’s difficult to spot.  This one is an email letting the recipient know that they have a Dropbox file to download.  And while the original URL is from Dropbox (seems legit), they are redirected to a Microsoft URL (big red flag) as the hackers look to harvest Microsoft Sharepoint login creds. 

Nancy's Nuggets

This section is called “Nancy’s Nuggets”, as it’s the place where I post all the random things she sends me in any given week. In this case, it should be ribs rather than nuggets, as McDonald’s is bringing back the McRib sandwich. And while she used the McRib locator to find the closest location for us Clevelanders to be in Kalamazoo, MI, I show it as Washington, DC.   

 

It doesn’t look like there are any McRibs available in London, but if all goes as planned, you’ll be able to tour underground spy tunnels originally used in WWII.  I’m betting that those tunnels were the basis for this scene from James Bond’s Skyfall

After the way last weekend went, it’s nice that we don’t have to worry about a Browns game this weekend.  The Buckeyes are back, and if you want to see the best football play of last weekend (volume up), watch this UCF highlight.  If football isn’t your thing and you’d prefer Netflix, don’t expect to get any more DVDs in your mailbox. The last one was sent last week, and I’m pretty sure it went to my brother-in-law.

 

Have a great weekend!

Abbey

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