What Little Red Riding Hood Can Teach us About Phishing in 2020

July 13th · 3 min read

Little Red Riding Hood is a children's tale, although the story's first versions are more like horror stories. Its origins can be traced back to the 10th century to several European folk tales, including Italy, which had a version called The False Grandmother. The story has been changed over the years to various tails and subjected to numerous alterations and readings. 1

Observing Little Red Riding Hood from a Cyber Security Perspective, it's a classic phishing attempt. Here's what the story would look like during the "interesting" year, 2020.

Red - The Phishing Victim

Red was asked by her mother to do some online shopping for her granny, who can't really leave home now due to COVID-19, and Red can't visit her either. Red was incredibly busy between Zooming with Annie, her BFF, her YouTube Yoga sessions, and finishing a school project. But Red loved and missed her granny more than anything, so she dropped all her activities and set out to help immediately.

Red looked at the list her mom sent. There were some groceries she could order from the online supermarket, and some health supplements she had no idea where to buy.

Red wasn't familiar at all with these supplements, so she Googled their names, but a second later got a text from Annie, saying that Alex from their class just uploaded the funniest TikTok, and she had to check it out. Annie was curious, so she took a break from online shopping for her granny and decided to take a little snack break at the same time and head over to kitchen.

Twenty-six minutes and 2.5 oatmeal cookies later, Red returned to her computer and saw a popup advertising the supplement she needed to buy her granny. Red was thrilled the search was over and entered the site.

The Wolf- The Phishing Website

The website looked a bit different than what she thought it would look like, and she thought to herself - can I trust this site? Red saw some stars and reviews and was starting to get convinced. She then thought to herself - why is the website domain name so long? But saw "https" before it so dismissed that thought and believed it was ok. There was so much information, and she was getting overwhelmed.

Red was still a bit hesitant, but then a little popup came up saying 7 other people just bought this item, so she thought, well, why not? And so she proceeded to purchase.

The Hunter - Security Tool

Just as Red was about to continue, she got an invite from her Sister to join her Guardio plan. She was a bit hesitant, so felt it was right on time, and hey, she didn't have to pay anything as she was joining her Sister's plan. After a quick install, she returned to purchase the supplements for her granny. What she didn't know was that the website was a phishing site in disguise that was ready to attack and lure her in. But just as she returned, Guardio blocked the site away! Guardio had stopped Red from entering the site and explained the website could attempt to steal her information, meaning her credit information was saved from being sucked into the dark web!

Red's jaw dropped, and she couldn't believe she almost fell for that. Now with Guardio by her side, she continued to complete all the shopping her granny needed, including the supplements, only this time she was calm that she was online going to trusted websites and wouldn't fall for any "costumes".

Two days later, her granny called to thank her for the deliveries of everything she needed, and Red still couldn't believe she was saved from a phishing scam, and that her beloved granny wouldn't have gotten her supplements.

The Moral of the Story:

  • Never trust a website, ad, email, or social post just because it looks real.
  • Always use an online security tool that can detect online threats in disguise.
  • Helping out is important, especially during these times. Guardio for Family, can save your loved ones from getting hacked and scammed. Try it now for free.
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