“Authorize your parking, please…”

11FridayOCT 2013

So, this seems legit – “Subject: Annual Form – Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicle on State Business”
Too bad it turned out to be a come-on that ended up with precious files encrypted and the key to unlock it merely a 300 USD contribution to Euro-Mafia, Inc.
Where the luck was that an announcement showed up in our neighborhood list-serve messages; apparently Duke had this show up in the staff email –

From: Osvaldo Hansen <Osvaldo@...>
 Date: October 8, 2013 12:04:41 PM EDT
 To: <john.q.smith@...>
 Subject: Annual Form - Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicle
 on State Business
 All employees need to have on file this form STD 261 (attached).
 The original is retained by supervisor and copy goes to Accounting.
 Accounting need this form to approve mileage reimbursement.
 The form can be used for multiple years, however it needs to
 re-signed annually by employee and supervisor.
 Please confirm all employees that may travel using their private car
 on state business (including training) has a current STD 261 on file.
 Not having a current copy of this form on file in Accounting may
 delay a travel reimbursement claim.

The message board person said they had gotten a warning about this email from the IT staff at Duke. Truly sublime – I mean, who WOULDN’T open this, right before they got their coffee cup filled up and put their lunch away in the break-room fridge, muttering something like ‘stupid forms – didn’t I fill out my parking form the other month? if they make me pay for parking I swear I’m going to quit – this place just isn’t what it used to be..‘
As I was reading the list-serve note and admiring how clever this ruse was, my wife thanks me for getting her the licence plate numbers for our cars since she had to fill out a parking pass form from work…
Z O I K S ! ! ! !
All was well, though, for a) it was a Google Doc form, and 2nd) her biz was actually moving to a new building, so all the rigmarole to set up operations had to be re-jumped through. I shared the dastardly news bit re: cryptolocker and we had a slight laugh, but I, like Boo, shuddered to think.
Back up your data, keep a copy off site. Always a good idea.