Are they who they say they are?

As the security of computer systems has improved, scammers have turned to more creative methods of gaining access to personal and business systems. In some ways these “Social Engineering” attacks are quite old fashioned, they rely on tricking someone in to revealing information or unwittingly giving the perpetrator access to computer systems. This form of cyber-attacks have become increasingly convincing, with a growing number of people around the world falling victim.  

Recently we had a customer report that they received a call from someone who had identified themselves as “Virgin Media Technical Department”. To start, they were asked to provide the caller some information to verify their identity. This included their router admin login details, and they were asked to provide their IP address by typing “What is my IP” into Google.  

After providing these details the scammer asked the customer to navigate to a website and download an application which would provide access to their corporate laptop. Once they were on the device “Virgin Media Technical Department” opened a few branded web pages and worked through some tasks. At this point the customer began to get suspicious and asked the caller to verify some details of their account, including how many phone contracts were on they had. As the scammer was not able to answer these questions the customer ended the call and closed the remote access application.

After providing these details the scammer asked the customer to navigate to a website and download an application which would provide access to their corporate laptop. Once they were on the device “Virgin Media Technical Department” opened a few branded web pages and worked through some tasks. At this point the customer began to get suspicious and asked the caller to verify some details of their account, including how many phone contracts were on they had. As the scammer was not able to answer these questions the customer ended the call and closed the remote access application.  

It was at this point that the person realised all the data had been removed from their laptop and they immediately called Atmosphere IT for advice. Fortunately, this customer not only had a technical support package with us but had also taken advantage of the security of our backup solution. Whilst they spoke to the real Virgin Media to report the incident we prepared a spare laptop, restored the data, and checked through the audit logs. Within a couple of hours, we had swapped the laptop over so that the customer could get back to their work, whilst we securely wiped their previous laptop. 

Social engineering attacks often have the following red flags:

Is the call unexpected?

  • Avoid giving out any information. Ask the caller to confirm some information that they should know like an account number or which services you have.
  • If it is a company you know, terminate the call and contact them on their official number. If there is a genuine reason for the call they will have it logged at their end.

They may try to convince you with general statements.

  • “I’m calling as I can see you have been having problems with your Wifi at home”
  • “Our system shows your internet isn’t working at full speed” 

Are they stating that some urgent action must be taken?

  • They may say your account will be terminated, you will be charged money or that you will lose an opportunity. By making you hurry or rush you are more likely to not think clearly about the situation.

If you would like to find out more about our backup solutions or how one of our support packages could benefit your business, please give us a call on 01753 255 300 or email us at talk@atmosphereit.co.uk

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