The Beekeeper

Have you seen the new film starring Jason Statham? Beekeeper is an action-packed story about a company that specializes in vishing attacks to steal personal data from vulnerable people.

Adam Clay, the protagonist, is a retired beekeeper (an agent of a secret unit of special agents who maintain order in the country and follow the philosophy of the book ‘Beekeeping for Beekeepers’). After retirement, Adam moved in with an elderly woman, Eloise Parker, and works as a real beekeeper.

One day, while Eloise checks her bank transactions, she receives a warning on her computer that it has been infected with 2 viruses. To resolve it, Eloise must call the telephone number that appears on the monitor screen.

Of course, on the other end of the line are scammers, who use social engineering tricks to steal from vulnerable individuals. First, they convince people to visit a website and download a certain app that actually gives them access to the victim’s computer. Then, as an apology for the inconvenience, the fraudsters promise to transfer 500 dollars, but accidentally transfer 50,000 dollars and ask to return the excess. Here, Eloise is reluctant and thinks about contacting the bank. However, the man tells her that he’ll lose his job if she doesn’t. This is how they get Eloise to enter her password for all the accounts, thus taking all the money from the victim’s accounts.

By the end of the film, we understand the whole situation. The mastermind of the operation is the CEO of a company that develops software for intelligence agencies. Using a confidential algorithmic data mining software package developed by an intelligent community, he manages to find lonely pensioners with substantial savings.

In short, this action film teaches us that dangerous tools can actually be used in mass cyberattacks at any time. So it pays to be prepared!

Lessons to be learnt:
  • Don’t call phone numbers that appear in pop-ups;
  • Be wary of anyone who tries to pressure you into doing something you wouldn’t normally do, especially online;
  • If you know you have remote access software on your computer, don’t enter sensitive information;
  • Use strong and unique passwords for each account;
  • Use multi-factor authentication and a password manager;
  • Don’t believe in monetary donations. Nobody gives money away for free.
Tips for staying safe online:
  • Avoid clicking in any situation;
  • Never install or update software from an unverified source;
  • Never, under any circumstances, give out your password by phone or email. No organisation asks for them in this way;
  • Examine your privacy settings and read privacy policies to understand what data you share with organizations;
  • If you suspect any fraud, always report it to the relevant authorities.

This is indeed a relevant topic because in the end, we are all Beekeepers. 😉

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