Though we’ve only been home for nearly a month, it feels like longer because we’re busy. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
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7 Quick Takes (and a Phishing Expedition)

February 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Last week Monday, minutes before lunch, I received an email with an invoice link in it from a colleague of mine. That email and the repercussions from that email gave me a very busy week.

Looking at the email I quickly determined that the email was a legitimately sent email, but also knew that the sender would never have sent me an invoice. I was instantly suspicious of the email.

Work I had done over the previous 2 years guaranteed that the email address was not spoofed. It meant that the user account credentials had been compromised. I immediately disabled their user account and rang the person to inform them that they had been hacked.

Unfortunately, 1300 emails had gone out before I disabled the account. Over the course of the coming days we have had to reset the username and passwords of about 2 dozen people. The link in the email was to a malicious website that asked for your username to view the document. You never see the document, but you give your username and password away.. We don’t know how many are unwittingly compromised.

The invoice email was a lure into a sophisticated spear phishing attack. After an account is compromised, the criminals sit and harvest information for days or weeks. During this time, they could gain access to an eBay, PayPal or Amazon accounts. Then start the attack again on others in OM. Ultimately, the criminal is attempting to get money by falsifying bank transfers.

This is not an isolated event. We have had this occur 4 times in a couple of weeks. I have worked with Microsoft to see what we can do to reduce our exposure to these attacks and I think we are making good progress.

Phishing screenshot

7 Quick Takes

Though we’ve only been home for nearly a month, it feels like longer because we’re busy. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Here are some ‘quick takes’ (and a few prayer requests) from our first month back at home.

1. We arrived home with no heating in our house!

Being away for 10 weeks, we turned off the heating in our home so as not to heat an empty home. We arrived home to the gas company replacing all the gas lines along our street—and a cold house. After getting some heaters from the workmen, the house slowly thawed out warmed up. By 5:00 that evening, our gas was back on and we had heat again.

2. Ellis had a check-up with the surgeon in Newcastle.

We continue to get good reports from Ellis’s surgeon, and he’s pleased with Ellis’s progress. We’re grateful for this news! The surgeon doesn’t need to see Ellis again until July.
Please pray Ellis’s recovery continues to be straightforward.

3. We started homeschooling again.

Asher and Eva Joy enjoy having a school routine again. They both particularly enjoy the nature studies we do on Fridays.

4. We have an allotment!

Not long after arriving home, we signed the paperwork to have our own allotment! An allotment is kind of like a community garden. We’re excited about it, but proves to be a lot of work because the plot has laid fallow for a few years.
Pray that we’ll form relationships with the other gardeners at the allotment.


5. Lost teeth

Our family’s ‘tooth fairy’ is busy because Asher lost his first two baby teeth in the last week.

6. Leon travels to South Africa.

The leadership course Leon has been on for the last 10 months finishes at OM’s international leaders’ meetings in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Pray for Leon as he travels to the southern hemisphere; and pray for myself and the children as we navigate the time without Daddy home.


7. Catching up on life

After being away for 10 weeks, we have a lot of catching up to do. We’ve been to the dentist, doctor and optician. We’ve had various other appointments, too. Counselling, meetings, getting things repaired. It’s amazing how things pile up when we are away!
God Bless,
Leon, Chrysti, Asher, Eva Joy & Ellis xxxxx
Copyright © 2018 Hedding Somewhere, All rights reserved.

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