Thoughts From My Inbox

March 4th, 2022

Mushers, Stuckasauruses, and Ransomware

Well, I gave you a week away from all of these random thoughts, and now I’m back in town.  I kind of figured that two weeks worth of inbox stuff would make for a great newsletter this week, but I was wrong.  Lots of info about Ukraine and all the cyber crime that goes along with a major current event.  Beyond that, however, I was struggling for good pieces.  So, there’s some surfing, a little snowboarding, some dogsled racing, and the usual technology and security-related items.  You should still have plenty of worthwhile (worthless) info to share with your friends this weekend, however…

 

Something About…

 

Big Waves
I’ve never surfed, but always found it pretty cool to watch. I guess if I had the chance, I’d give it a try.  Definitely not on hundred foot waves, though.  This one from 60 Minutes Australia is a few years old, but still worth the watch.

 

War in Ukraine

As with most major current events, hackers have found a way to use the war in Ukraine to their advantage (and social media is being used for disnformation).  Whether it be through new malware that was deployed at just about the same as Russian tanks arrived in Ukraine, or fake Ukranian charities being used to steal your money, you should be on the lookout.  And if you’re worried about protecting your own network, our security partners at Sophos presented a webinar earlier this week that had lots of good reminders and ideas.

  

 

Instagram Scams
If you have an Instagram account and have recently received emails regarding copyright infringement or community standards issues, there’s a good chance you’re being scammed (unless you really are posting somebody else’s images as your own).

 

 

The Iditarod
The Iditarod sled dog race begins tomorrow.  When we were in Alaska in 1995, we saw the headquarters in Wasilla, but it was May so there were no dogs mushing through the snow.  The winner of the race usually takes about 10 days to finish the 1,000 mile race.  This article (which is too long for me to dug into yet) might take the same amount of time to read, though. It does come very highly recommended, however.

 

 

Ransomware
“Paying the ransom is only motivating crooks to return for more…”  Ransomware actors used to be considered very business-like, and they were known for offering outstanding customer service.  As ransomware becomes more ubiquitous and the barrier for entry continues to drop (think Ransomware as a Service), it becomes less and less likely that your ransom payment will be the end of the story.    18% of those who paid a ransom still had their data shared to the dark web, 35% who paid were still unable to recover their data, and 83% of successful ransomware attacks featured double- and triple-extortion.   Just another reminder that you should be using best in class endpoint security solutions so that you don’t get hit in the first place.
Business Email Compromise
If you don’t recall, or aren’t familiar with business email compromise (BEC), this example of a Cleveland-area church is a good reminder.  One of the best ways to avoid BEC is by having multi-factor authentication (MFA) turned on for your email accounts.  Now, of course, since everything else seems to be available aaS (as a Service), there’s BEC as a Service, and it’s leading to a big uptick in BEC attacks.  

 

Snowboarding Kids
I had this one sent to me last week while we were skiing, and it seemed appropriate to include.  A four year old with a microphone attached to her while she boards.   I wish I’d started at this age! (volume up)

 

 

I guess it’s supposed to be sunny and warm here this weekend.  I’m still not ready for it, as I’d prefer one last chance to get on the skis before I put them away in favor of golf clubs and fishing rods.  That pic at the top was taken last week at Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  As much as I love winter and all the cold and snow that comes with it, I think a lot of Clevelanders would be much happier if our February days had blue skies like those in the picture (no filters).  Couldn’t have asked for a better day; 10 degrees, fresh powder, and clear skies!

 

Have a great weekend,

 

Jim

Jim