Just Firewalls: The Hacker that Stole Christmas

Settle in for our festive fable which highlights the benefits of good cyber security, and what can happen to a small business’s Christmas without it…

In a nation of pet lovers.

furry friends abound

We all want to treat them

to the best gifts around.

This tale’s fictional biz, Woof & Grrr

sell products for all doggy bundles of fur.

With toys, treats, and care products

for discerning canines,

they never thought their cybersecurity

would get left behind.

So let’s begin.

Our story unfurls,

with Woof & Grrr bringing joy to

good boys and girls.

This time of year,

it’s pressies galore,

With the team happily sending

doggy treats out the door.

But across town,

trouble’s brewing.

A plan is being hatched

to Woof & Grrr’s undoing.

Norbert is

an expert in hacking

Hoodie in tow,

social life, lacking.

He pretends to be others,

he says “for a living”

A phishing attack here, a catfish there,

but that’s just the beginning.

Woof & Grrr post

on their LinkedIn page,

it’s Linda’s birthday!

you know, her from accounts – she’s 50 years of age!

Norbert sees this

and the plan is set.

Woof & Grrr?

An easy get.

Norbert pretends to be June,

Another firm’s accounts lady.

Her LinkedIn friend sending an ecard

it doesn’t look shady.

An unwitting Linda clicks;

“That’s nice of June!”

But if she had a crystal ball,

she’d soon change her tune.

“Many happy returns” reads the card.

Inoffensive and pleasant.

But the risk this “spear phish” hides

will soon become omnipresent.

Linda’s click sends a gremlin,

lying in wait.

Ransomware waiting

to seal the firm’s fate.

Until Christmas Day

our ransomware sprite

just sits on Linda’s PC, waiting to bite.

Just Firewalls Security

At a minute-past-twelve on Christmas Day.

That’s when the code will have its way.

Whilst Norbert’s code-imp

surveys its estate,

our dog-loving team

think everything’s great!

And as they despatch

last-minute doggy delights,

the clock ticks down

towards a festive fright.

The MD Cheryl’s planning great things for next year,

more than just serving doggies treats and cheer.

Animals of all sizes will benefit, not just your dog,

from Woof & Grrr’s new and improved catalogue.

Donkeys and doves,

hamsters and rats,

iguanas and geckos,

and *sigh* even cats.

As the doors close and the team say “see you next year!”,

another character appears.

It’s Woof & Grrr’s ancient firewall.

They’ve had him for years.

He was too old and obsolete

to see Norbert’s threat come through.

But they think he’s doing a good job.

If only they knew.

At midnight, Christmas morning,

Santa’s longest shift of the year.

The ransomware gremlin sets to work,

Norbert had no fear.

As the gremlin boots up Linda’s PC

and starts tying data in knots,

it displays a ransom message,

and then, it spots…


I’ll go and have a cuddle.

There’s lots more data

over there to muddle.”

As the Woof & Grrr team

Tuck into their turkey,

the damage has been done,

the company’s future: murky.

Norbert’s gremlin delights in creating chaos.

The subject of this fable’s imminent pathos.

Though it’s Christmas day,

workaholic Cheryl tries to dial in.

“I’m just paying an invoice dear”,

much to her partner’s chagrin.

An error? On our server?

Like nothing she’d seen before.

No resources found. No data seen.

Every web page – 404.

Hacker that Stole Christmas

Cheryl calls Dave,

an indifferent sort,

their resident IT expert –

or at least, so they thought.

“Dave, the server’s down,

I can’t get through.”

The safe for work version

Of Dave’s response? “Oh, poo.”

As Boxing Day breaks,

and Jack Frost is lurking,

and countless households look forward

to leftover turkey,

Cheryl & Dave meet

on the cold car park.

Peering into the office

left in the dark.

Cheryl opens it up and pops the kettle on.

Silently fuming, but she won’t let on.

“It all looks… encrypted”

says Dave with dismay.

And he sees a message.

It’s definitely not okay.

A big red padlock – and on it, a skull.

Norbert’s just waiting for his Bitcoin wallet to be full.

Says Dave – “It’s ransomware!”

Cheryl – “How could this happen!?”

That age-old firewall let it through.

They need to send it packing.

But what should they do now?

The whole business encrypted?

Whether you pay the ransom or not,

livelihoods are afflicted.

And what’s that?

That’s Linda’s IP.

She barely knows what “an internet” even is,

how could this be?

So Cheryl pays up.

It’s a massive cost.

Others in her situation

may tell Dave and Linda to get lost.

Yet Cheryl knows

no one’s to blame.

Only herself,

it’s really a shame.

Cybersecurity’s a massive threat.

not just at Christmas –

for every home,

and every business.

Fast-forward a year,

Woof & Grrr, now protected.

‘Cause the January after

the error was corrected.

Cheryl spoke to Just Firewalls

who sorted them out

with next-gen protection 

after giving them a shout.

“But the best cyber defence,”

Says Andy, Just Firewalls’ MD,

“Is good cyber training

and staying blame-free.”

Cyber awareness training

really is ace.

It teaches your team

not to err in the first place.

And don’t blame your company’s

Linda or Dave,

even though

the outcome was truly grave.

They’re trying their best,

they’re just being steered,

Phishing emails let you

be socially engineered.

Says Andy “Apply your updates

and try not to falter.

Now I’ll have some chicken treats for Winston,

and a ball-thrower for Walter.

Though this time

Norbert had his way,

the business’s wallet was dented.

That cash just went away.

Don’t fall afoul

of similar tricks.

Cybercriminals are out

for cash and for kicks.

Hacker that Stole Christmas

Happy Hackmas and a Cyber Secure New Year – from all us here at Just Firewalls!

Speak to the team at Just Firewalls today. To keep security in, and hackers at bay.