Business Horror Stories Part 1

Posted in Blogs on 29/10/20

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 1 - Destroying your online presence.

It has been a long day in the office, you get home and sit down on the sofa ready to spend time with your children. As you are playing with their favourite toys you notice that your iPhone isn't on. You have been expecting an important call from one of your members of staff so you place it on charge. 

When your phone powers up, you notice it isn't your usual background of your family, all of your apps seemed to of dissappeared too. Weird... and annoying. It is probably a bug, I have backed it up to the iCloud though, so no problem. You plug your phone into your laptop and begin to restore your old settings. When you restart your phone, a notification pops up letting you know your gmail information is wrong. It asks for a four-digit pin.

But, you didn't set up a four-digit pin.

You check your laptop, no luck. You start to look through your other accounts. Google... gone. Twitter... hacked and sending out ugly streams of pornographic and racist tweets. 

Fearing for your household network, you shut down your laptop and disconnect your router. You call Apple support, while you are on hold you think about all of the data you could lose, precious photographs of your children growing up, all of the work you have done for your business and any other bits of data.

You finally get through to tech support, they mention this is the second time you have called them today. But, that isn't right. This is the first time you have called today. 

You realise the first call to tech support was from the hacker, posing as you. It took them less than an hour to destroy your online digital presence. 

The reality:

This is what happened tp tech journalist and writer, Mat Honan. In the space of an hour, his google account was deleted. His Twitter was commandeered and all of his iPhone, iPad and MacBook data was erased.

Fortunately for Mat, this hacker didn't want his bank account or any of his customers contact details. This hacker was only interested in Mat's Twitter Handle. 

The Apple support team managed to restore 75% of his hard drive, including the photos of his family. It didn't come cheap though, it cost him just under $1700. Not everyone could afford that.

So, what can you do?

First of all, Two-Factor Authentication or Multi-Factor Authentication is your best friend. This links your accounts to a phone number. Everytime you login to a new device it will ask you to enter a code that is sent to your phone. 

Protect your data:

Whether you are at home or at work, Cyber-Attacks can happen to even the most tech-savvy among us. It can be as simple as opening an attachment or setting up account for convenience rather than security.

Yes, ghosts and ghouls will haunt many nightmares this month, Cyber-Security is a real and present danger we face every single day. For most, the best offence and is a good defence.

Stay safe.