October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This year let’s have some fun while spreading cybersecurity awareness!
Since 2003, October has been National Cyber Security Awareness Month in the US (and it’s spread around the world, too!) It’s a great time to spread awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and how you can protect your privacy, your business, and your customers’ data.
This year, instead of writing another blog post talking about how security breaches are up 67%, or that 43% of all breaches target SMBs, or how 91% of cyberattacks start with a phishing email…we’re going to have some fun!
Here’s our re-telling of the well-known fairy tale The Three Little Pigs…with a cyber twist! We hope you enjoy it! (Illustrations are by Ryan, one of our web security support specialists!)
Let’s hash it out.
A Cybersecurity Retelling of The Three Little Pigs
Once upon a time, there was a fine woman named Mrs. Hogg. She had three sons: Larry, Ivan, and Leo. Now a better family you would be hard-pressed to find: they were a happy little clan, fine examples of love, dedication, and hard work.
Now Larry, Ivan, and Leo went to the local school, where they had a classmate named Bernard Bartholomew Wolfe. His name was a bit long, so everyone called him BB.
That’s not nice
Now BB Wolfe was a different sort altogether – whatever the Hoggs were, BB Wolfe was not. He was not loving, dedicated, or hard working. In fact, he was the class bully. Although one thing we must give him some credit for – he came up with (what we must admit) was a clever nickname for our three protagonists: 3 LIL Pigs. Knowing this is often the best way to deal with bullies, they embraced what was intended as an insult – so instead of an insult it became an affectionate nickname used by all their friends.
Do it the best that you can
Time passed, and BB and the 3 LIL Pigs graduated from school and went out into the world. Before they left, Mrs. Hogg gave her sons some excellent advice. “Whatever you do, do it the best that you can because that’s the way to get along in this world.” The Three LIL Pigs thought that was excellent advice, and so they set about building their own businesses the best that they could.
Larry built a business selling sod, grass seed, and straw. He did the best that he could and built a thriving business that was known all around for quality goods and excellent service.
Ivan built a business selling lumber and wood of all types. He did the best that he could and built a thriving business that contractors, homeowners, and hobbyists from all over relied on.
Leo built a business selling stone, marble, and bricks. He did the best that he could and built a thriving business that provided goods for all the fanciest homes in the county.
How can a school bully make money?
Meanwhile, BB lived in Mrs. Wolfe’s basement and made nasty comments on Reddit, using his screenname b1gb4dw0lfe. As I said, he wasn’t a very nice person.
But now, BB began to realize something – he needed money to buy more Red Bull and Doritos. But he wasn’t hard-working, so he didn’t want to get a job. Maybe he could make money doing something he loved? Ah, yes, bullying was fun. But if he locked people in their lockers or gave them swirlies now, he might get locked up by the Police. He needed a different idea. Aha! He could make money doing what he did best – being mean online. So BB Wolfe became an internet hacker, using phishing, malware, SQL injection, and other nasty tricks to steal money online. Nobody knew who b1gb4dw0lfe was, so BB happily sat in Mrs. Wolfe’s basement and hacked away, drinking Red Bull and eating Doritos.
Now back to the LIL Pigs. BB hated them more than anyone, because they had ignored his bullying and were very successful. So BB decided he would destroy them.
Give me Bitcoin
So one night, BB Wolfe sent Larry an email. It said: “Send me $1,000 in bitcoin or I’ll hack and I’ll crack and I’ll blow your business down.” “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin”, said Larry. But there was something Larry forgot. When building his business, he had done his very best, except for one part: cybersecurity. “I’m just a little business that sells straw”, he said, “who would attack me?” Now BB hacked and cracked and found something that made him quite happy. All of Larry’s routers and all of Larry’s devices used 12345 as the password! So BB hacked into Larry’s business and wired all his money to an offshore bank account. So Larry had to shut down his business and go work for Ivan.
Now Ivan had done better in cybersecurity. He knew that all his devices had strong passwords – they were unique, uncompromised, and difficult to crack. So when BB sent him an email demanding $5,000 in bitcoin he replied “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!”.
Now BB Wolfe hacked and cracked and couldn’t get in. So he decided to try another trick. He sent Ivan an email from a sheep farmer named Esmerelda. It said “Hello Ivan, When I bought lumber from you for my sheep barn, you overcharged my credit card – fix this right away or I will file a chargeback. Click here to view my statement and you will see the problem.” Now Ivan worked hard to be sure that all of his customers were happy, so he tried right away to check the credit card statement. But what he didn’t know was that accidentally gave BB access to his email account. Then mean old BB hacked his bank account and sent all his money away to an overseas bank account. So Ivan had to close his business and go work for Leo.
Now BB Wolfe was feeling pretty confident, and he started to get greedier. So he sent Ivan an email saying “Send me $10,000 or I’ll hack and I’ll crack and I’ll blow your business down.” But Leo knew that he had done the best that he could to protect his business. But Leo was still cautious – he called up Cy the CISO, and said: Turn up the firewalls to 11! Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin will he blow our business down!”
So BB Wolfe hacked and he cracked, but all the passwords were secure. He phished and he vished and he smished, but Leo and his staff laughed and said: “Not by the hair of our chinny-chin-chin! You can’t fool us with an SMS about a fraudulent charge for an old sheep skin rug!” Then BB Wolfe went to upontheroofdownthechimney.com (which was Leo’s website) to hack and crack his way in. But Leo had done his best – his site was all HTTPS, with up-to-date software, menacing firewalls, and super-strong passwords. BB hacked and he cracked but he couldn’t get in!
Having the Wolfe for dinner
But what BB Wolfe didn’t know was that Cy the CISO had contacted the police and they had set a trap to catch BB. The website was secure and protected, and now it was also a honeypot – set up by the police to install tracking software on BB’s computer if he tried to hack it. And BB Wolfe fell KERSPLASH right into that honeypot! And before he knew what was happening, the police were at his door and taking him away to jail. Then they took his bank accounts and paid back all the money to the Three LIL Pigs – with interest!
What did the Three LIL Pigs do with the money, you ask? They re-opened Larry & Ivan’s businesses that they lost, and they hired back all the employees. Then they had money left over, so they threw a big feast the next night and invited all their friends over for supper.
And that’s the story of how BB Wolfe got caught in a honeypot and how the Three LIL Pigs had him for dinner!
Now when you’re hard at work, don’t forget the lesson that Larry & Ivan learned the hard way: do your very best to protect your business against hackers and crackers. If you don’t, you might have to rebuild your business or even close it forever. And that’s no good at all!
Free Cybersecurity Resources (BB Wolfe Hates These!)
Since October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, now is a great time to upgrade your business’s defenses! So when a big bad wolf comes knocking at your digital door, you’ll be able to laugh and say: “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin will you blow my business down!”
Get started with these free resources to help you protect your business against cyber attacks:
- Learn how big bad wolves attack with our Cybersecurity Statistics.
- Protect against phishing with our Email Security Best Practices Guide.
- Show your employees what to watch out for with our Phishing Email Examples.
- Learn about SSL encryption with our New To SSL guide.
- Find out how to protect documents and emails with our Digital Signatures guide.
Feel free to share these resources with your coworkers and friends so they, too, can laugh when the big bad wolf comes knocking at their door!