Business Horror Stories Part 2

Posted in Blogs on 30/10/20

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, IT companies and Managed Service Providers alike come together to spread awareness to stop attacks in their tracks.

"And what?" you might say. Getting hacked or scammed is terrible, but it only happens to large corporations, not small businesses like mine. Wrong. For the scariest month of the year we have prepared three Cyber Security horror stories that will chill your blood.

Or, at the very least, make you change all of your passwords.

Part 2 - The nice guy (who makes you WannaCry)

It is a dark and stormy night and you are working late in the office. You've got your Anti-Virus, your data is backed-up and you keep your systems up to date regularly. While you are working on a proposal for a prospect you receive a message notification from Microsoft. 

You've been hit by Ransomware.

A notification pops up and urges you to call tech support. You dial the number provided, someone picks up and you explain the disaster to them. 

The lady on phone puts your fears to rest. She is here to help. She walks you through setting up some anti-ransomware software for £249.95. You think it is a little expensive but worth it to save all of your data. 

You give her remote access to your computer. And after a few minutes, she thanks you and assures you your computer is now ransomware-free. You finish your proposal and head off home. 

A week later, during your money coffee, you turn on the news and see a story about a local scam. Your eyes widen in horror.

You realise, you were never actually hit with ransomware. The woman you spoke to on the phone wasn't a Microsoft Employee. She was a scammer, and you let her into your computer to steal your data and you paid her just under £250 for the privilige.

The Reality

According to the United Kingdoms fraud and Cyber-Crime center, Action Fraud. Criminals have been exploiting fears around WannaCry by offering tech support after they fake a ransomware attack. During their 'tech support', they charge ridiculous amounts of money and can even install malware on your computer.

It is really important to remember that Microsoft's error and warning messages on your workstation will never include a phone number. Any communication you have with Microsoft but be initiated by you.

What can you do?

First, know that Microsoft will never give you a tech support number in an error message. Secondly, always do your research before you install anything on your phone or workstation.