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Blake Dowling: The almighty email

Ray Tomlinson invented email in 1972. Tomlinson was an ARPANET contractor and picked the @ symbol to reference digital communications between computers.

Since then, things have changed — just a wee bit.

In a perfect world, organizations use email to share quick bursts of info with clients, colleagues, constituents, etc.

But, in the real world, people send massive files, keep enormous inboxes, all while sending the most confidential voter, medical and financial info. Designed as a communicative tool for nonsensitive info, people are now using email as the send-all-be-all of their organizations.

If you don’t archive your emails and use a file structure (outside of your inbox) think about giving that some time. Digital organization is greatness.

Over the years, I’ve come across a few situations where people have emailed me some very sensitive info by mistake.

So, as a best practices rule-of-thumb, if you can’t say it aloud, don’t email it.

One client was considering an alternative to our company and sent our proposal to a competitor, asking the other company to break down our proposal and beat our price. They accidentally cc’ed me.

In my eyes, their brand is forever tarnished. An hour later, when I received a request to ignore the previous email, I couldn’t help but laugh. It was like a court order to “strike that comment from the record” — the cat is already out of the bag, and said cat holds a major grudge.

Recently, my wife was trying to get her air conditioning fixed at a local car shop; they were refusing to honor the warranty.

They then sent this gem to 6 internal staff, cc’ing me by mistake. There was nothing up, no one even looked at the car beside them. Now, whenever I think of auto repair, I see them as the clowns of the business. I always will.

Had they not sent this email, I would have been none the wiser. One person ruined their national brand. (I bet they got an A in clown school.)

We will not name names here, but here is part of the message:

“Paul Harvey version was the washer bottle is broken! How does a washer bottle get broken, and AC system over charged ???? We were asking questions since vehicle has not ever been in our stores for repairs or service. Car fax was clean so we are fixing the vehicle under warranty since we cannot prove anything and the Dowling’s are giving us any information other than being very defensive which usually in my book means something up.”

The Democratic National Committee learned the power of email — the wrong way.

Jobs were lost, trust destroyed. In the aftermath of the Nevada Democratic convention, Debbie Wasserman Schultz wrote about Jeff Weaver, Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager: “Damn liar. Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and threatening behavior that occurred.”

In another email, Wasserman Schultz said of Sanders: “He isn’t going to be president.”

Other emails had her stating that Sanders doesn’t understand the Democratic Party. Bernie got hosed. Email pain is not just for Democrats, Republicans past and present have had their fair share of problems.

Email woes have no party affiliation.

There should be an email protocol — in writing — for all your staffers, including interns, volunteers, and all the way to the top.

We don’t need to go into mail servers (or things like that); email is simply not a secure platform for communication.

Don’t talk trash, send credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or anything confidential via email. Yes, there are encryption packages available to secure email communication, if you are willing to make the investment.

Nevertheless, use email as designed, and you will have a pleasant and (most importantly) more secure computing experience.

Be safe out there.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.


David Silvers: State must rethink policy about minors, mental health

David Silvers

In September 2016, a 6-year-old child threw a temper tantrum at his elementary school in Jacksonville. Usually, the story would end with the child being sent to the principal’s office for discipline, but, sadly for Nicholas, the child from this story, his journey didn’t end there.

Not knowing how to handle an unruly child, the school counselor contacted the local sheriff to pick the child up and drop him off at a psychiatric facility. Nicholas was held for three days against the wishes of his parents and had to wait more than 24 hours to see a psychiatrist. When the facility finally allowed his parents to take him home, Nicholas had suffered a bloody nose, scraped-up shins, and was in an overtired and almost hysterical state.

Under the Florida Mental Health Act of 1971, commonly known as the Baker Act, this is legal. The law is a well-intentioned attempt to promote public safety by allowing medical professionals at a mental health facility to hold an individual for up to 72 hours to conduct an evaluation of whether the patient is mentally ill and at risk of causing harm to themselves or others.

However well-intentioned the law is, it can sometimes produce appalling, unintended consequences, such as permitting a 6-year-old child to be held against the will of the child’s parents and endure a traumatic and perhaps a life-altering experience.

That is why I filed House Bill 1183, which would require receiving facilities to initiate medical review for involuntary examination of minors within 12 hours of arrival. The bill would also create a task force to bring accountability and transparency to involuntary examinations of minors in Florida.

While the Senate companion for HB 1183 was not able to get any traction, I worked with several members of the Senate and got the language attached to HB 1121, which also seeks to improve mental health in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott signed that bill into law on June 26.

The task force created in HB 1183 is composed of stakeholders that include experienced experts from the mental health, education, and law enforcement industries, as well as a representative from a family whose child has been brought to a mental health facility for involuntary examination. The task force will analyze data on the initiation of involuntary examinations of children, looking for trends and potential solutions to improve the process and outcome of these situations. I truly believe using this data will improve safety, treatment and the experience of those receiving care through our mental health system.

Working toward solutions that will improve our mental health system and benefit all Floridians should be a priority for every legislator in Tallahassee. I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to work for my neighbors and for all Floridians to ensure that we have access to a health care system that reflects the importance of mental health for the future of our state.


Democrat David Silvers represents Florida House District 87.


Kate MacFall: Time to speak up for Florida panther

Kate McFall

Heads up, citizens: the federal government is about to review the endangered status of one of our state’s rarest species — the Florida panther — and now is the time for all of us to make our voices heard.

We Floridians clearly love our wild and mysterious panthers; in 1981, the state’s schoolchildren chose the panther as our official state animal over other animal contenders like alligators and manatees.

Biologists estimate that, at most, only 230 or fewer Florida panthers exist on Earth. Compare that to Florida’s human population, which has reached 20.6 million. Federal protections for Florida panthers are as essential as ever to prevent the big cats from going extinct. No scientific justification exists to strip panthers of their endangered species protection, and there is simply no pressing need to do so.

This U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service review comes at a time when panther deaths on Florida roads are outpacing the number of documented panther births. The statistics are alarming: Last year alone, an average of three panthers a month died on our roadways as they traveled in search of food and mates. So far, this year 13 panthers have been struck and killed on roads. These highway deaths come on top of other causes of mortality, including poaching, predation on kittens and disease.

The road toll alone is too high to be sustainable. Every year since 2012, Florida has set a new record for the number of panthers killed by vehicles. Our panther population will face continual threats because massive new developments are planned for the southwest Florida lands that are the panther’s last home. Strip malls, housing developments, and new roads will all greatly impair Florida panthers’ prospects for survival. Panthers are particularly vulnerable to human threats due to their already-low numbers and because they require large ranges. Biologists know that the leading cause of species extinction around the world is habitat loss and human persecution. With developers encroaching more dramatically in southwest Florida, the panthers need the protection the Endangered Species Act provides more than ever.

We know too well how fragile our Florida panther population is; the cats were put on the Endangered Species list in 1967. In the 1990s, the population dwindled to just 20 to 30 cats before intensive rescue efforts began to save the species from extinction. The progress made in reviving their population should not be prematurely dismantled now. Unlike all other mountain lion subspecies, Florida panthers are specially adapted to their Big Cypress Swamp and Everglades habitats.

How can you do something about this? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comment about reviewing the Florida panthers’ endangered species protections until Aug. 29. We must let the federal government know we value Florida’s wild heritage and we want our panthers protected. Input should be sent to biologist David Shindle through one of the following methods:

— Regular mail: South Florida Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 12085 State Road 29 S, Immokalee, FL 34142

— Email: david_shindle@fws.gov

— Fax: (772) 562—4288


Kate MacFall is Florida State Director of the Humane Society of the United States.

Vern Buchanan: Targeting police will not be tolerated – pass the Thin Blue Line Act

Officer Miosotis Familia, a mother of three and 12-year veteran of the New York Police Department, was ambushed and killed as she sat in her command vehicle last week. Familia never saw the assailant coming when he fired a shot through the passenger-side window striking her in the head. She was “assassinated in an unprovoked attack,” James O’Neill, the city police commissioner said.

On Tuesday, a sea of blue uniforms mourned Officer Familia’s senseless death in a ceremony at the World Changers Church in the Bronx. Officers from across the country traveled to the service, including representatives from at least 85 police departments. Quivering as he spoke, Commissioner O’Neill highlighted how Familia worked tirelessly to make the community “a better and safer place for everyone.”

Unfortunately, Officer Familia’s death is part of a disturbing spike in cop killings that continues today.

There have been 68 line-of-duty deaths so far this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The U.S. House passed my Thin Blue Line Act, H.R. 115, earlier this year making the murder or attempted murder of a police officer, firefighter or other first responder an “aggravating” factor in death penalty determinations. The Senate needs to get the bill to the president’s desk as quickly as possible.

Ambush-style killings of law enforcement officers last year skyrocketed 167 percent compared to 2015, according to the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO). These attacks on our brave men and women in blue include the multiple murders of five officers in Dallas and three officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Thin Blue Line Act is supported by key national police advocacy groups, including NAPO and the National Fraternal Order of Police. They are understandably also concerned about the rising rate of attacks on police and agree that the growing violence toward police has to stop.

My bill sends a strong message that the heinous targeting of police officers or first responders will not be tolerated.

I strongly believe that our communities owe a great debt to law enforcement and first responders. No first responders should be targeted solely because of the uniform they wear.

The Thin Blue Line Act applies whether the first responder is murdered on duty or targeted simply for being a firefighter, police officer or emergency medical technician. The bill specifically applies to crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction.

Federal law already considers the murder of federal law enforcement officers an aggravating factor for capital punishment determinations. This bill extends the list of aggravating factors to include state and local police officers, firefighters, or other first responders when a jury is considering the death penalty in a federal case.

Each year, I host congressional awards for first responders in southwest Florida to recognize the outstanding contributions to our communities made by these dedicated public servants. Honoring these men and women is among the highlights of my year. These are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who put their lives on the line to help their neighbors.

Our first responders don’t hide or waver in their commitment to public safety. Like Familia, these individuals run toward danger and take swift action to make our towns, communities and cities a safer place for kids to grow and families to prosper. These men and women in uniform make our lives safer and we’re lucky to have them.

Now we need to have their back.

Steve Webb: Run, John Morgan, run — no, not for that

Dear John Morgan:

All kinds of Florida Democrats are enthused that you will follow your successful campaign to expand legal medical marijuana with a 2018 campaign for governor.

You could self-finance, and the party sorely needs to concentrate its fundraising down ballot. You have name recognition, but it doesn’t carry the baggage of a government record. You aren’t timid, and at this point, we hunger for boldness to oppose a mess in Tallahassee, you could argue has been the template for the mess in Washington.

But stop, for a minute, and turn the question that justifies your running on its head. How are you any more qualified than Rick Scott or Donald Trump to run a government? In 2018, this question is important because Scott wasn’t qualified and still isn’t. Ditto Trump.

We lose the “amateur hour” argument if you are the candidate. It will be similar to waging the argument four years ago that the best way to turn the corner on four terms of Republican governors was to elect the third-term guy to a fifth.

However, Florida has a constitutional office you are highly qualified for, and frankly, the office begs even more for a change in direction. Florida has a bad governor, but it has an even worse attorney general. Pam Bondi should not be able to name her successor.

How did Bondi become the state’s chief lawyer? Not from a legal record. She functioned largely as a telegenic spokeswoman for the Hillsborough state attorney’s office, then parlayed a gig as one of Roger Ailes‘ blonde expert witnesses into her election campaign. She won, frankly, because losing is what we Democrats were doing in 2010.

Once in office, Bondi turned the Office of the Attorney General into a small-town law firm for mostly out-of-state interests. Clients who had put up a retainer when she was a candidate found her a less-than-energetic protector of consumers, investors or residents impacted by mistreatment of our natural resources. One client in particular — the Republican Attorney Generals Association — found her to be a much more enthusiastic co-plaintiff than a prosecutor. She led Florida into federal suits that on the surface stood outside or even in conflict with the state’s interests. The most famous involved the Affordable Care Act, and a 2012 image lingers of her and Scott confusedly having to abandon their victory lap news conference when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ACA.

But you and I both know that wasn’t Bondi’s most ridiculous co-plaintiff move. That would be one of the times when she signed the state of Florida on to stop other states from adopting standards Florida has itself adopted, sometimes introduced. I would love to see an accounting of how much taxpayer money she wasted pursuing various suits at the behest of the RAGA, how much she spent on outside attorneys to accomplish tasks she ignored while servicing her out-of-state clients, and how often the suits have ended poorly — losses, but also an increased acrimony among the states involved and a belief among large segments of Florida that Bondi is anyone’s lawyer but ours.

In addition, a state’s best government oversight is a strong attorney general, and Bondi has never challenged her party’s excesses. An attorney general who took the state and federal Constitutions seriously would have blocked the legislature from defying the Fair District amendments in the 2011 redistricting. The resulting litigation has ended up costing taxpayers more than $20 million. In 2015, Scott used taxpayer money to fly to and purchase radio advertising in Kentucky on the eve of their gubernatorial election, where he warned voters Democrat policies would allow Florida to steal all their jobs. The best you can say about her own ethical decisions is that she broke no criminal laws.

An attorney general who represented the people against the government would tell both Scott and the legislature that they were on their own passing HB 7059 the way they did. Such an AG might even act as plaintiff’s attorney if the government and legislature refused to fulfill voter-approved constitutional amendments.

I know it would be difficult to take what, on the surface, is a supporting role in changing Florida. It wouldn’t have to be. You would be a crusader, dragging Florida’s official legal presentation back into the sunshine.

In contrast, you might make a lousy governor. Your success has come doing a specific set of things, and they might not translate into a position that is administrative, collaborative. Baseball writer Bill James once said of a 70s Red Sox center fielder, that his doubles against Fenway’s wall became routine fly outs in Anaheim.

That might happen to you in the governor’s office.

But do you doubt for a minute that you would thrive as The People’s Lawyer? Please, think about it.


Steve Webb is a Lakeland resident and member of the Polk County Democratic Executive committee.


Rape kits delayed is justice denied, Part 5: Westeros edition

In Westeros, rape is the sport of kings and a pastime for peasants. Game of Thrones-watchers have been moved to anger, angst and apoplexy over the steady stream of sexually-based offenses inflicted upon women in the Seven Kingdoms.

This is a puzzlement to Sophie Turner, who made her acting debut at age 13 as the highborn, ill-fated Sansa Stark in HBO’s mash-up of Middle Earth and the Middle Ages. The rape of the fictional character played by Turner provoked viewer outrage and boycott threats that befuddled the young actor.

“(Sansa’s rape) was the trending topic on Twitter, and it makes you wonder, when it happens in real life, why isn’t it a trending topic every time?” Turner wondered aloud in Time Magazine.  “This was a fictional character, and I got to walk away….unscathed … “

Unscathed, yes, but not unchanged. Baffled by the “…. backlash when this is happening to women all over the world, every single day,” Turner looked for ways to divert the public’s attention from Sansa, who needed no help, to real rape victims who need help desperately.

Today, she is an activist on behalf of the half million Rawandan women who were systematically raped in the genocide that took place two years before Turner was born. As a patron of Women for Women International, Turner uses her starpower to bring attention to a program that provides meaningful help to women who have to survive and support what’s left of their families.

Florida’s rape survivors are provided with next-to-nothing in the way of practical support. While Gov. Rick Scott jumps aboard his private jet to troll fellow governors and peddle Florida as a great place to take a vacation or relocate a business, our large and largely ignored untested rape kits gather dust in evidence lockers. In some alternate, functional universe, Sansa Stark is Florida’s governor, and the rape kits get processed faster than you can say “Power is power.”

Blake Dowling: This week’s threat — LeakerLocker

The technical landscape of 2017 offers a never-ending parade of innovation, as well as a full-on riot of various tech threats.

Cyber crooks and terrorists want your dollars and to cause chaos, too. To that end, they use several motivational tools, including one ransomware scheme that asks you to infect two other people before they give you your data. That one is devious beyond words.

However, the latest threat takes it one step further: Crooks look to embarrass you by revealing your most sensitive photos — unless you pay them, of course.

(Yes, that’s Tom Hanks hazing some poor bloke, taking pics with that guy’s phone while he deals with being … overserved)

That picture of Tom Hanks may still be on the G-rated side, but I am certain some of you have photos on your PC/tablet/phone that you prefer would not be made public on the internet, or sent out to your contacts.

There are many political figures I can think of, who have enough problems as it is; I (for one) wouldn’t want to see what’s on former Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais’s PC, or that on the tablet of disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York. *Shudder*

Can you imagine if Bill Clinton had a smartphone while in the White House? And what if those pics had been hacked? *Double shudder*

We all have seen what the current POTUS has unleashed on the world tech-wise, shoving his tweets in your face.

Obama and Trump each have their own style on Twitter; I don’t want to see the pics on either of their phones either.

Back to our story … the newest threat out there is called LeakerLocker, and it’s a doozy.

This program attacks your phone and threatens to start sending out your pics at random to various phone contacts (both text and email). Currently, this threat targets only Android phones, and just like other ransomware threats — pay the ransom ($50) and they say they will release the lockdown of the phone and not send out any more pics.

This threat was discovered in the Google Play Store. Security company McAfee is warning users against downloading apps called “Booster & Cleaner Pro” or “Wallpapers Blur HD” and they are embedded with the threat also. For today’s purposes, I am referring to LeakerLocker as ransomware, but Ken Spinner — VP of Engineering — is categorizing this new threat as “extortionware.”

Earlier this week, Spinner clarified that with the following statement in Security Magazine online:

“LeakerLocker is a good test case for extortionware, which still has a few hurdles to clear. Ransomware encrypts data in place without actually stealing it,” he said. “Extortionware has to bypass traditional network monitoring tools that are built to detect unusual amounts of data leaving their network or device. Of course, information could be siphoned off slowly disguised as benign web or Domain Name System traffic.” (Full article here)

So great, a whole new category of threats. Just what we need.

LeakerLocker also claims to share your browsing history on your phone with your contacts, making it the gift that keeps on giving (like the “Gin of the Month” club). This threat is only the beginning, so who knows how far it will go.

Rest easy iPhone users, you are free and clear on this threat — for now.

That’s all for today, see you out there.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He has recently been binge watching the show “THE 100” and is not embarrassed to admit watching CW shows. (Well, maybe a little.) He can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.


Rick Scott: DC needs to start rewarding efficiency, not inefficiency

Ed. Note: Gov. Rick Scott‘s office sent the following op-ed regarding “the national healthcare debate.”

I recently traveled to D.C. to fight for Florida as the U.S. Senate debated repealing and replacing Obamacare. For far too long, D.C. politicians have focused only on the grand bargain of repealing and replacing Obamacare, ignoring the opportunity to make incremental changes to get rid of the taxes and mandates and roll back the federal welfare state. 

For decades, the federal government has been willing to spend more than it takes in. We all know this is not sustainable, leaving debt for our children and grandchildren – more than $19 trillion in debt and counting. The inaction we’ve seen on repealing Obamacare shows that hasn’t changed.

Throughout this healthcare debate, a lot of people have been advocating for bigger government, and not a lot of people have been advocating for taxpayers. I will always advocate for Florida’s hardworking taxpayers.

While a new bill has been introduced this week, it has taken far too long to get rid of the disaster of Obamacare, and I fear the politicians in Washington will never find common ground on this critical topic. There is absolutely no question that Obamacare must be repealed immediately so Americans can actually afford to purchase health insurance.

To lower costs, fundamental reform to the Medicaid program is needed. Obamacare encouraged a massive expansion of Medicaid to cover able-bodied, working-aged adults, even as 600,000 elderly Americans and individuals with disabilities nationwide sit on waiting lists to access services through this program.  

States like Florida that have run increasingly efficient Medicaid programs, and have not expanded Medicaid, must be rewarded and treated fairly under any bill. What’s concerning is that under the most recently proposed Senate bill, tax and spend states like New York will continue to be rewarded for running an inefficient Medicaid program.

Long before the Obamacare debate, New York ran a terribly inefficient Medicaid program for decades which ran up their state’s deficit and hindered their economy. Florida is the exact opposite. We have been efficient with our dollars while providing quality care to those who truly need Medicaid. 

As a reward for its fiscal irresponsibility, for every dollar New York pays in federal income taxes, they receive a quarter back from the federal government for Medicaid. In comparison, Florida only receives 16 cents for every tax dollar that is sent to Washington. Current Congressional bills lock in past federal spending, which would make this inequity permanent.

That makes absolutely no sense. If Florida is going to get a smaller rate of return on its federal taxes, shouldn’t our federal taxes be cut? New York, with fewer residents than Florida, receives more than $33 billion per year for Medicaid while Florida receives less than $15 billion.

How is permanently locking in these spending levels fair to Floridians when New York has been terribly inefficient with their taxpayers’ dollars? The federal government should cut income taxes for Floridians by 30 percent. This would put our share of federal Medicaid funding as a percentage of taxes paid on par with New York. This reduction would save Floridians thousands each year.

The federal government must start rewarding efficient states like Florida and stop rewarding inefficient states. Our taxpayers deserve nothing less. 

Yolanda Hood: There will come a time when you’ll have to leave something behind

Goodbyes are never fun, except when they are.

Even if you haven’t read Gone With the Wind or watched the movie, everyone knows Rhett Butler’s famously delivered line as he says goodbye and shuts the door on his relationship with Scarlett O’Hara:

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

When I was a young girl I would watch “The Lawrence Welk Show” with my grandmother. I thought the best part was when the women and men would line up at the end of the show in their beautifully styled 1960s flowing chiffon gowns and polyester three-piece leisure suits and sing, “Good night, good night until we meet again. Adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen ’til then.”

I know that those who are as old as I am are now humming that glorious tune.

There are also the inspirational goodbyes, like the one from Central Florida’s very own Fred Rogers that went generally like this:

You make each day a special day. You know how, by just your being you. There’s only one person in this whole world like you. And people can like you exactly as you are … and I like you so much. Bye bye.

It was this inspirational goodbye that helped to convince a 1969 Senate subcommittee on communications to maintain $20 million in federal funding for public broadcasting.

Then there are the goodbyes that make you weep.

John Travolta, in the 1996 movie “Phenomenon,” was in bed dying from a rare brain tumor. He turns to his girlfriend and asks, “Will you love me for the rest of my life?” His girlfriend responds: “No.  I’ll love you for the rest of mine.”

Just gets you in the heart every time.

So why my obsession with goodbyes?

Saying goodbye is always a hard thing to do when you are leaving a place where you have made friends, joined families, learned lessons, and maybe taught a few as well. Saying goodbye is hard when you love walking outside of your door and seeing sandhill cranes pecking in your lawn as you skip over and around the multitude of lizards that scuttle across the sidewalk.

Saying goodbye is hard when the sun is always there, warming your skin and brightening all of your outdoor activities – weeding, car washing, mowing the grass. You know, the things you have to do because it is always so warm and sunny, at least here in Central Florida.

But there comes a time when you’ll probably have to leave something behind, whether it is a city or job or loved ones – like I’m doing now as I leave UCF to begin work at a new university in Canada. That’s why I’ve been thinking a lot about goodbyes lately.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that life is a journey, not a destination. And, so, we all must journey on, to make more wonderful friends and learn more lessons.

I’ve decided I won’t be sad because I have many good memories and have met many great people here.

As Dr. Seuss suggested: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

It’s a lesson we all should learn.

And I’m smiling right now.


UCF Forum columnist Yolanda Hood is the former head of the UCF Curriculum Materials Center. For now, she can be reached at yolanda.hood@ucf.edu.



Blake Dowling: Wise Kim meets Leon County

The “Leon Consulate of Florida” was overthrown this week, thanks to the chumps at the Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail.

I suppose they meant Leon County, since this hacking wing of ISIS hasn’t quite mastered English.

What they refer to is the Leon County (North Florida) website; it was indeed hacked for a couple of minutes, replaced with this creepy message:

Welcome to the Leon Consulate of Florida.

County officials responded immediately that the attack was only “surface level” and all sensitive data was protected behind a firewall. Perhaps the county needed a little distraction from the FBI-fueled barrage of media coverage over the past couple of weeks. Good job Kim.

If you check out the Facebook page — although I would not recommend it, as the National Security Agency and FBI might be tapping on your door, or you might make a list you would rather not be on — you will see a warning to all that this group is going to be attacking “the most important sites in the world” over the next few days.

So look out Andrew Gillum, Chris Christie, John Morgan and Tmz.com — this means you.

Tighten up those websites. Apply patches, run updates, don’t host sites in an unsecured location etc. Although it appears this particular hack did squat in our Capital City, what happens when one actually wreaks havoc?

Get your hands off of me, you damn dirty hackers.

In last week’s Petya ransomware attack, a few firms got hit hard.

Reckitt Benckiser (Britain), the maker of Norofen tablets, Durex condoms, and other quality products, are still partially down as of this writing. They got pummeled; manufacturing, shipping, ordering, all disrupted. The global tab for this attack could reach $100 million, the company estimates.

Some firms pay ransom to try and get their data back, but the bitcoin payments were made and (poof) nada.

So, unlike similar recent attacks, this one appears to have launched just to create chaos and digital destruction in a specific area.

We will see a lot of this in the near future as nation-states wish to wage cyberwarfare with one another versus more traditional combat.

Besides Wise Man Kim, no one else seems to want WW3, but if it came down to that, here are the current Top 5 militaries most likely to come out on top.

A local CBS affiliate is about to enter my office for a quick segment about cybersecurity, so allow me to wrap this up with some ways to protect your business or organization from hackers and threats.

Step 1: Strong password.

Step 2: Antivirus and antispam solutions.

Step 3: Firewall.

Step 4: Robust backup.

Step 4: Don’t piss off CNN.

Step 5: Training.

No, don’t piss off CNN.

Steps 1 through 4 used to be enough, but people aren’t getting the message. Users are still clicking where they shouldn’t, so they must be trained, followed up by intrusion testing (try this test for your staff).

Next, more training; even then, you won’t be 100 percent protected, but you will minimize risk.

As far as best practices go, that is a good path.

In closing, I hope Wise Kim gets back to his party island and stops with the missile shenanigans, that will only end badly for him and the world.

I hope CNN gets back to broadcasting news, and that no one else gets subpoenaed in Tallahassee for CRA-Gate. We need some good news in our region (like local hero Walter, nice work sir:

That’s it for today, have an awesome weekend.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies, enjoys the Allman Brothers Band, the writings of Hemingway, and any movie with Pauly Shore. He can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.

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