Thoughts From My Inbox

April 1st, 2022

2nd Base, Carnivorous Gulls, and Land Yachts

There was so much good information in my inbox this week that I’ve already started next week’s edition (didn’t want to bury you today)!  This week, however, looks to have a nautical spin to it; land yachts, carnivorous seagulls, and a crypto island, in addition to the usual sports and technology. And I think it’s all legit, considering that today is April Fool’s Day. 

 

Something About…

 

World Backup Day
Yesterday was World Backup Day, and while backing up your data is extremely important to the health and wellbeing of your business, one key part that many people don’t consider is the ability to actually recover your data in the event of a disaster.  We regularly have businesses (not clients) contact us when they’ve been hit by ransomware and realized that either their data was never backed up properly, or they couldn’t restore their data.  The most recent instance lead to two full weeks of a company being unable to transact any business.

 

Land Sailing

The British landsailing championships started this past weekend, 150 miles west of London, and including the U.S., there are actually 19 countries that are members of the World Landsailing Organization.  According to this sailor, he’s topped out at 93MPH, and can hit 50MPH in winds as light as 6-7MPH.

 

Fake Shopping
Cyber criminals are now creating fake online stores that mirror those of actual brands.  The hackers then set up paid Google advertising campaigns so that the fake stores appear at the top of search result pages, thereby leading users to click through to what they think are legitimate sites.  Buyers order their merchandise and provide all the necessary info to do so; name, address, credit card, etc.  And now the hackers have it all, and the buyer gets nothing other than a box of junk, or worse, an empty box.It seems as though this is taking place overseas rather than here at home, but it’s just another good reminder to “think before you click”.

 

 

Annoying Seagulls
Venice has an issue with gulls, to the point that some locals are now handing out squirt guns.  The orange ones work best.  And can you imagine a gull big enough to steal your steak???
Kaspersky
How many of you (or your employers) are using Kasperksy for your anti-virus solution?  I’ll bet that there are a few hands going up as you read this. If you’re not aware, Kaspersky is the vendor with ties to Russia’s KGB that was banned from all US government networks a few years back.  Now, they’ve been added to a list of firms that are ineligible to receive FCC funds.  No mention as to whether this has anything to do with Russia invading Ukraine, or if it’s just one more organization realizing that Kaspersky products may be leaving their users open to the outside world.
Mega Yachts

I spent a year working on the boat insurance product at Progressive, and have always been around boats in one way or another.  As such, it’s been interesting to read about the Russian oligarchs who are having their assets (including their mega yachts) seized and/or impounded.   

The Construction Industry

A sharp-eyed reader sent me this one (thanks, Lo- need to figure out what type of Ashton swag you’d like!) regarding hacks aimed at the construction industry and more specfically, the building materials they use for critical infrastructure.  As the article points out, construction companies often lag well behind other industry verticals when it comes to cyber security.

2nd Base

The writer of this article states  “I have spent god only knows how many collective hours (months? years?) of my life watching baseball, playing baseball, staring at baseball diamonds—and never once, not until this very morning, did I realize that second base is not where it should be. It’s in the wrong place!”  I feel the same.  I have played, coached, and watched a ton of baseball over the years and never had any idea that second base was out of alignment with the diamond.

Crypto Island
For a mere $130K, you can purchase real citizenship on a crypto island in Vanuata (I seem to recall the name from a season of Survivor)
Honda Hackers

Researchers (who seemingly have nothing better to do with their time) have discovered that certain Honda and Acura models are susceptible to being hacked through their remote keyless entry systems.  I guess if you have the time, you could probably hack anything, but is the juice worth the squeeze?

Deepfakes

Ukranian President Zelenskyy recently appeared in a deepfake video; hackers used technology to simulate Zelenskyy telling Ukrainian troops to surrender.  While the quality is pretty poor, it’s another good reminder to question anything you see and hear. 

Presidential Jets
Need to rent a 787 for that next family trip?  The President of Mexico will be happy to oblige.  Or, maybe you just want to buy your own?  It can be yours for $130MM.  And don’t worry, the President won’t miss his plane.  He prefers to fly coach.
Seinfeld

It seems that not a day goes by without somebody making a Seinfeld reference (“man hands”, “Dolores!”, “close talkers”, “master of his domain”…).  Sadly, there are a few people here in the office who’ve never even watched the show.  Whether you know every episode and are happy to keep watching (me) or have never seen it, I just came across a website that could be big trouble… 24×7 Seinfeld streaming!

FBI Alerts
The FBI has issued a couple of new alerts;  one about  local governments being at very high risk of ransomware attacks, and a second warning that election officials have been, and will continue to be targeted with phishing emails in the lead up to the 2022 mid-term elections.  Included in both alerts are lengthy lists of precautions to take, which actually apply to any business and contain many of the usual suspects; use multi-factor authentication, patch regularly, train your employees, back up your data, etc.

 

 

I don’t listen to country music, and don’t think I’ve ever heard the name Eric Church until he made the news this week for cancelling his Saturday show in favor of the Duke/UNC Final Four matchup. A quick review of Twitter seems to show opinions split 50/50 as to Church making a great move to support his team or being an absolute ass for bailing on his fans.

 

And speaking of Twitter, I saw data the other night that there are 206M daily, active Twitter users in the world, which is far less than 1% of the population. Additionally, 25% of Twitter’s user base accounts for 97% of total tweets.  So, for those out there who think that Twitter is a good barometer as to public opinion, I’ll let you do the math!

 

Ending this week on the lax goal of the year, even though I’ve never been a Syracuse fan.

 

Have a great weekend,

 

Jim