This fun video utilizes archival footage and a retro style to help explain the dangers of email viruses to organizations WatchGuard serves.
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Speaker: Meet Bud. An ordinary worker ending an ordinary work day. Bud is one of Comglomco’s most productive workers. To get things done fast, he relies upon electronic mail. Electronic mail, or as it’s known to computer technicians, email, makes it easy to communicate. Email requires no stamps and no envelope. Just type and send. What could be simpler?
Speaker: Email is so convenient that everyone uses it, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Tonight Bud has stayed late to finish answering all his email messages. Some of which seem to be quite unusual.
Email: Dear Taxpayer, this is your third notice that you underpaid your taxes for last year. With penalties and interest, the amount outstanding is now $14,246. This debt is severely overdue. If you do not respond within 48 hours, we will withhold your paycheck until the debt is paid in full. Other legal action may be taken. See the attachment for full details. Sincerely, The Internal Revenue Service.
Smart Bud: Ah, wait, don’t click that mouse.
Smart Bud: That email is nonsensical. The IRS would address you by mail. But it says third notice. Have you ever seen this notice before? Hmm? [laughing] Very suspicious, yeah? [laughing]
Dumb Bud: But you can’t ignore the tax cops and they’ll take our paycheck. You have to read that attachment.
Smart Bud: Sending a booby-trapped email attachment is cyber crime’s most common vector. I say, it’s a fraud.
Dumb Bud: It says legal penalties. Hello, we could be in big trouble. Click it. Click it.
[various sound effects]
Speaker: Suddenly a worm was loose on the corporate network and all because of a misguided click from Bud. Look out Bud. Mush.
[Twilight Zone music]
Speaker: Submitted for your approval. Sometimes deception fools reason and leads to regret. Welcome to a dimension of second chances. There’s a sign up ahead: next stop, the Hindsight zone.
Smart Bud: Ah, wait. Don’t click that mouse. Ah, good one.
Speaker: With the aid of hindsight Bud has learned an important lesson. Don’t open email attachments that arrive unexpectedly. Especially if there is anything fishy about them.
Email 2: Dear Customer, the security team here at Megabank has detected attempts to compromise your bank account. To verify recent transactions, please follow the link below and log in. If you do not comply, we will be forced to close your account. Please aid our efforts to maintain the highest level of security. Sincerely, Megabank.
[crying in background]
Smart Bud: Ah, that is quite clever. An attacker pretending concern for our security.
Dumb Bud: Oh you think everything is an attack. If this didn’t come from Megabank, how did they know we have a Megabank account? Huh? Hmm? Huh? Hmm?
Smart Bud: They don’t have to know. It cost the attacker nothing to send an email. It’s the biggest banking chain in the nation. So, the bad guys just send it out on a chance.
Dumb Bud: Oh don’t listen to him. We could lose our bank account. Click it.
Smart Bud: OK. Smarty. Let’s see if the link in the email really leads to Megabank. Hover your mouse over it, but don’t click it. Ugh, what you see in the email is merely cosmetic. Look at the box. That shows where the link really goes. And that does not say Megabank.
Dumb Bud: Well, it’s just some numbers. It could be Megabank. Couldn’t it? Maybe, huh?
Smart Bud: Not likely. The real Megabank will use it’s own name, because only they own Megabank.com. The numbers are there to hide something.
Dumb Bud: Blah, blah, Megabank, blah. Blah, yada, yada, words, words, words. We’re gonna lose money, Bud. Rover will starve. You got to click the link. I’m begging you.
Smart Bud: Banks do not use email to request confidential information.
Dumb Bud: Click the link.
Smart Bud: You could go to the real website on your own, without a link, and see if they mention a second confirmation.
Dumb Bud: Click the link.
Smart Bud: If I am right, and he is wrong, attackers will capture your password. They can log in as you and then they will take everything.
Dumb Bud: Click the link. Click it. Click it.
Smart Bud: Delete. Delete. Delete.
Speaker: Listening to his smarter side, Bud inspected the link before he clicked it, and made the right choice. There’s never any need to panic over an email. Next time you hear that dumb voice in your head, tell it to scram. After that night, Bud was never fooled again. Even when he saw an email from a company he did business with, Smart Bud told him not to click the links in the email. Bud could take control by visiting their website the way he usually did. Type the URL yourself, or use bookmarks you already setup in your browser. As long as you don’t click links in emails, no booby-trapped email can hurt you.
Spaker: Bud still wasn’t the most popular worker at Conglomco, but at least he was safe around email. Think before you click. Don’t be a dumb Bud. Be the best Bud you can be.