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July 16, 2020 Jeremy Boren

Twitter Hack, Transform ’20, Abbott Hits 40M COVID Tests

A screen capture of the malicious message posted to the Twitter account of Bill Gates.

What the Twitter Hack Means for Operational Technology Pros

A stunning, highly coordinated Twitter hack on Wednesday that tweeted a Bitcoin scam from the high-profile accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and others is likely a lesson in the danger of social engineering.

Social engineering could mean a Twitter employee fell victim to a phishing or spear-phishing attack in which an attacker targeted someone with malicious code cloaked in an innocuous, urgent or even seemingly welcome message in an email or on a website.

In addition to the Bitcoin scam, the hack meant accounts with a “verified” blue check mark lost the ability to create new tweets. Those accounts could only retweet until the threat was neutralized.

For a pop culture depiction of social engineering, check out this clip from Ocean’s 8. A hacker creates an email about Wheaten Terriers to target a security professional who make it known on Facebook that he’s a very big fan of the breed.

Save Your Spot: Transform.virtual Arrives Aug. 5

Transform.virtual, GrayMatter’s annual Industrial Intelligence Conference, is just under three weeks away (as of this writing) at 11 a.m. ET on Aug. 5!

If you’re thinking about attending this year, but you’ve haven’t registered yet, here are a few reasons why you should before we run out of spots and giveaways:

Transform.virtual is free to all this year for the first time

• We’re offering dozens of live and on-demand videos of industrial leaders in our Transform Theater and GrayMatter Hub to help solve real problems in manufacturing, cybersecurity, water/wastwater and other industries

• Our interactive platform allows you to ask questions and talk with hundreds of other attendees in our expert lounges that focus discussions on your specific area of interest

• In addition to our live Advanced Industrial Analytics and Cybersecurity panel discussions, there are tons of on-demand content that allow you to build your day as you wish after attending the live kick-off from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. on Aug. 5.

Any questions? Sign up, and let us know.

Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Labs Predicts COVID Testing to Remain a Priority

Abbott Laboratories President and CEO Robert Ford revealed during an earnings call Thursday that it has sold about 40 million COVID-19 tests, according to Forbes.

Ford’s statement acknowledges how quickly the company, a GrayMatter digital partner, has had to scale production to meet immense global demand for the diagnostic tests, which are used in hospitals and at drive-thru clinics.

Perhaps most notably, Ford said he predicts the tests will continue to be important to the efforts to fight the pandemic.

“With the phased easing of ‘shelter in place’ restrictions, we’re entering a new phase —- where continued testing of symptomatic patients will start to overlap with broader surveillance testing of asymptomatic patients in order to better track, understand and contain the spread of the virus until we have broad vaccine availability,” Ford said.

“As vaccines become available, we would anticipate continued surveillance testing to monitor and assess for both natural and vaccine-related immune response, which would be followed by a steady state of on-going monitoring and tracking of vaccine protection. Looking across this spectrum, it’s clear that the need for testing is large and it isn’t going away.”

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Jeremy Boren

Jeremy is GrayMatter's Brand Manager and the author of TechHub and the emPOWERUP Podcast. He writes about digital solutions, trends and culture in the world of operational technology. Jeremy's background is in daily journalism. He has a passion for storytelling and enjoys highlighting the technologies and professionals taking on complex challenges in manufacturing, energy, cybersecurity and infrastructure.