Take your pick of Halloween cyber-security tricks and treats and horror stories

Raising awareness of cyber-security is a year-round task but what better time than Halloween to use spooks, ghosts and demons to drive home the point?

Cyber-security: even more scary at Halloween
Cyber-security: even more scary at Halloween

Let's face it, cyber-security can be scary business so what better time of year to highlight the fears and dangers of this connected world than Halloween?

Two marketing agencies have set out to do just that with Halloween themed publicity stunts designed to raise awareness of things that go bump on the Internet.

Marketing agency DigitasLBi has created the Internet of Pumpkins, a Wi-Fi enabled pumpkin with a bite: users attempting to login to this “free” hotspot get a trick or treat depending on the jack-o'-lantern's mood.

It's designed to highlight the data risks of connecting to public Wi-Fi points and contains a penetration testing device commonly used by security professionals... and criminals.

Unwary surfers logging onto the haunted Wi-Fi get either a treat – a voucher for a Halloween treat – or a trick in the form of a fake message warning them that all their passwords have been stolen. After they've been given a few moments to contemplate their foolishness, the pumpkin serves up practical tips for using Wi-Fi more safely.


The Internet of Pumpkins (IoP) by DigitasLBi

Simon Gill, chief creative officer for the UK at DigitasLBi, said: “This bit of Halloween fun highlights the potential dangers of dodgy Wi-Fi hotspots. Free Wi-Fi is usually a treat, but with the Internet of Pumpkins we're hoping to show people that sometimes it turns out to be a trick.”

Meanwhile, to celebrate the end of Security Serious week and just in time for Halloween, the Little Book of Hacking Tales has been published, featuring a series of short stories based around security incidents including hacking, deception and privacy invasion.

Yvonne Eskenzi, the driving force behind Security Serious and contributor to the Hacker Tales explained: “We've heard so many amazing stories over the years from our hacker friends and clients it would make your hair stand on end. We love scaring our friends and family over dinner with these stories but I've always thought they'd make a great little book – and now they have.”

Organised by Eskenzi PR, the stories have been written by their staff, clients and industry colleagues. “The idea is to make you sit up and think twice about your own security practices and to spread the word about better IT security housekeeping! Most are fictitious, all of them are very clever, some have happened and others could still happen,” said Yvonne Eskenzi.

There are plans to issue a new volume next year and contributions are invited from the industry.

The book is dedicated to the memory of the late Steve Gold, a veteran of the security industry and amazing spirit who was so supportive of the publication, yet sadly never got the chance to write his own.

The book has been sponsored by Tripwire and PhishMe. 

Meanwhile, if you want to watch a video of the Internet of Pumpkins...