Are you sitting comfortably?

“Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.”

People of a certain age may well recognise this as the introduction to “Listen with mother”, a radio program of stories, songs and nursery rhymes for a captivated pre-school audience. The theme tune, a gentle piano duet (Lullaby from Gabriel Fauré’s “Dolly Suite” for those that want to know) helped the listener relax into the program.

We all know how music can influence our mood and, in a similar way, a polite start to a conversation or jovial and easy-to-read introduction to an article may help put us at ease…….which is why I found the email shown below of such interest.

The opening paragraph is quite disarming and may even raise a smile for the reader. From there on the mail continues with constructive help on how to make life easier complete with links to complete the process, links to the knowledge base, password recovery, direct debit and support.

Everything looks right – except that every single link points to the same destination, not one to the control panel login, another to the knowledge base article, etc. The links bear no relation to the purported sender when one hovers the mouse pointer over each in turn to check (not possible on the image below but a basic check when inspecting links in an email – click here for an example of checking a link).

In short, for all the convincing appearance an disarming opening, the links take us to a place where bad things can happen.  At best one might be duped into handing over payment details, at worst a ransomware attack of some kind.

Regular readers of articles on our site will know how what to look for and know to remain vigilant and sceptical but it is worth noting how our guard might be lowered by a smooth introduction along with a convincing looking mail.

For the record, I didn’t need to Google the them tune – I know this having played the top part of this duet at the Woodley Festival circa 1981.

Part of the “May contain nuts” series of short articles discussing familiar topics which we should all revisit once in a while.

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