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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox March 22nd, 2024

I’ve had a cough for the past two plus weeks.  No other symptoms, and I feel fine. Found out today that one of our dogs, Sherman, has kennel cough. He goes to day camp once a week, so I would usually expect that to be where he picked it up.  Maybe he and I have the same thing, though. If you didn’t come here to read about veterinary issues, you can still scroll on for sandwiches, vishing, water, and more.  Enjoy!

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Vishing (Again)

Stories keep coming out about people who’ve given away thousands of dollars when called by “the authorities”, who explain that they need to share their bank account info due to their identities being stolen.  I guess the safest thing to do would be never answering the phone again (even if you recognize the name/number, some hackers are able to spoof those numbers). That doesn’t seem reasonable, though.  So maybe just stick with not sending money to somebody who calls and asks for it.  If it’s the police, the feds, your bank… whomever.  Call them back using a number you’ve looked up- not one they’ve provided to you.  

CISOs and Insurance

The clients we generally work with (and therefore, the majority of readers of this publication) are too small to require the services of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).  But having worked in insurance for many years (albeit auto and then boat), cyber security and insurance always interest me.  I wasn’t aware that CISOs now face personal liability for cybersecurity breaches, according to the SEC.  As such, the recommendation is that CISOs be covered by Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance.  Even though in some jurisdictions, they’re not allowed to be covered by those policies.  Who knew? 


We live 20 miles east of downtown Cleveland.  It’s the far reaches of the suburbs (at least, going due east) and we have well water.  It’s great unless we’re without power, as no power means no water.  A couple of hours is no big deal, but when we lost power for three days last fall, it got to be a bit of a pain.  I finally broke down a few weeks ago and bought a portable generator, so we should always have water going forward. 


But, what if you’re on city water?  Earlier this week, the White House issued an alert about Chinese and Iranian threats on water and wastewater treatment facilities.  As mentioned, “Drinking water and wastewater systems are an attractive target for cyberattacks because they are a lifeline critical infrastructure sector but often lack the resources and technical capacity to adopt rigorous cybersecurity practices.” CISA also recently issued an alert regarding attacks on critical infrastructure, stemming from the People’s Republic of China.  Maybe you should go buy a few gallons of water, just in case. 


I know what a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is, but figured I’d google it to find the shareable definition.  There were 209M results! The best I found (because nobody ever scrolls beyond the first results page, do they?) states that DDoS “is a cybercrime in which the attacker floods a server with internet traffic to prevent users from accessing connected online services and sites.”


The most recent version was aimed at the state and local government level, as happened in Alabama last week.  And I would imagine that one lead to CISA publishing new guidelines this week for defending against this sort of attack, which is often backed by nation-state adversaries.  


I could eat a sandwich every day (and I typically do, at least when I don’t have a lunch meeting). So, I was excited this week to find the “Sandwiches of History” account on Instagram.  I haven’t gone through all of them yet, but the tomato sandwich looks outstanding, and the nasturtium sandwich (from 1908), not so much.  As to the peanut butter and bacon (1936), I would never “moisten” my bacon with ketchup, and in my mind, a good PB&bacon sandwich needs some mayo on it.


I’d love to hear which of these you’ve had, which you want to try, and which ones you think sound absolutely horrible!


Ever wanted to spend a night in a hotel one quarter of a mile beneath the earth’s surface?  Now you can.  An adventurer in Wales has turned an abandoned slate mine into an underground hotel, with half the fun being the four hour journey to get down to the lodge.   

My mom has been fussing all week about not getting last week’s edition of Thoughts From My Inbox.  She has plenty to do, so it’s not like she’s relying on one email to keep her busy every week.  Anyway, I looked at a few other readers who also use Gmail for the email, and it seems that Google decided to block me entirely, last week.  So, if you missed out, blame it on Google for suggesting that I’m “unsolicited”.

Headed out early this afternoon for a memorial service for a buddy I used to coach hockey with.  It’s been 12 or 13 years, but we still kept in touch. Primarily because, having a last name that starts with ‘A’, I get butt-dialed quite frequently, and Steve Bogas was the worst offender.  He’d dial me by mistake and I’d get a three minute voicemail of dead air, then call him back.  We’d catch up on family and hockey and all the kids we’d come across over the years.  He’d been involved in Cleveland hockey for 30+ years as a player and then coach at both the minor and high school levels. I always knew he was well thought of, but it says a lot when multiple local media outlets pick up news of his passing.  

Have a great weekend.


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