Silence of the Help Button


Jill was a risk taker. Jumping out of planes and drag racing muscle cars was all within her comfort zone. So, when her computer notified her about a new security update she needed to install, she figured she could risk it and chose not to install it. After all, it was going to take about an hour to finish installing and she had a lot of things to do.

A few months passed and she got a few more notifications about the update, but those were brushed aside. Then one day, Jill logged onto her computer and found yet another notification. However, this wasn’t a notification from the good people at McAfee, this was a notification from an anonymous person informing her that all her data was now locked and the only way she would ever unlock her computer was to transfer money to the hacker via Bitcoin.

Dazed, panicked, and frightened, Jill instinctively hit the F1 help button on her keyboard. To her dismay, no help box appeared. In its place, a message from the hacker appeared informing Jill they had her social security number and home address. She hit F1 again. This time the hackers informed her they knew her mother’s maiden name and her birthday. She kept frantically hitting F1 only to find a new message about bits of information the hackers now had. Jill’s data was locked and the hackers were patiently waiting for their Bitcoin payment.

Had Managed Network Services, all this could have been avoided.