Hacker Calls Front Desk for Ransom, Gets HR’s Hold Music Instead: The Comic Side of Cyber Extortion

Caught on tape: a hacker’s cringeworthy call to HR makes “negotiating” with ransomware gang DragonForce sound like a failed customer service complaint—Beth from HR remains unshaken. #RansomwareNegotiationGoneWrong

Hot Take:

Imagine calling a customer service line only to realize you’re the one getting the runaround. That’s what happened to this wannabe digital Don Corleone, trying to make a company an offer they could easily refuse. Note to ransomware gangs: If your intimidation tactics include getting stuck on hold and bickering with HR, you might need to rethink your strategy. Also, Beth from HR deserves a medal, or at least an extra coffee break.

Key Points:

  • Hacker from ransomware gang DragonForce calls the victim company and gets the “hold” treatment.
  • HR rep Beth becomes an unexpected cybersecurity hero by not bending to the hacker’s demands.
  • Threat actors are now adding cold calls to their scare tactics repertoire – telemarketing 101 for cybercriminals.
  • The hacker’s attempt at extortion is met with legal awareness and a calm refusal to negotiate.
  • The recording’s release on the dark web is a pressure tactic that backfired comically.

Need to know more?

Who Needs Customer Service When You Have HR?

Picture this: a ransomware gang member picks up the phone to dial the breach hotline, only to be met with the same fate as anyone trying to dispute a cable bill. In a spectacular plot twist, the hacker got transferred from one employee to another, eventually landing with Beth from HR, who probably deals with more terrifying things on a daily basis – like decoding the office's coffee preferences.

Telephone Tag: Hacker Edition

The hacker, in a cunning display of misjudgment, tried to explain the dire consequences of not negotiating. What he didn't expect was Beth's unshakable calm and matter-of-fact questions, which are the hallmark of anyone who's ever had to explain company policy to an intern. Beth's response to the threat of public data release? An unbothered "Oh, OK," that could only come from someone who's had her email inbox tested by fire.

Call Recorded for Training and Comedy Purposes

The hacker's frustration grew as Beth inquired about the legality of recording calls in Ohio, casually pointing out that the ransomware gang's scare tactics might have crossed a line or two. This is the point in the call where you can almost hear the hacker's eyebrow twitching in irritation, realizing that his menacing demeanor is about as effective as a wet noodle.

How to Not Negotiate with Hackers 101

Ultimately, Beth's masterclass in not negotiating with cyber-terrorists ended with her politely asking for a callback number, which the hacker admitted he didn't have. It's like asking a ghost for its physical address. And with that, the call ended on a note of polite dismissal that would make any customer service rep proud. "Well, good luck," Beth said, hanging up and probably returning to her daily HR battles, which likely include decoding cryptic out-of-office replies.

According to the TechCrunch article, the unnamed company stayed silent on the matter, which is probably the best response to a hacker whose biggest threat turned out to be a comedy sketch. This incident serves as a reminder that sometimes, the best defense against cybercrime is a good ol' fashioned dose of indifference and a sprinkle of HR savviness.

Tags: corporate ransomware defense, dark web activities, data breach pressure tactics, hacker extortion attempt, hacker-employee interaction, ransomware attack, ransomware negotiation