Several schools have had their computer network locked down by ransomware after receiving these type of calls.
In some cases, the ransom note asked by the ransomware was as high as £8,000 ($9,800).
According to ActionFraud experts, the scammers are easy to recognize because they make a simple mistake. During their phone calls, they claim to be from the Department of Education, but the Department’s real title is the Department for Education. This small detail could help British schools identify scammers during their initial calls.
Cold-calling victims is becoming a regular attack vector
UK schools have been the target of similar phone calls in the past few months. In previous cases, the scammers posed as employees from the Department for Work and Pensions and various telecoms providers.
Named spear-vishing, this technique has been used with regularity in the past few months. According to security firm Trustwave, the infamous Carbanak (Anunak) group has been calling tech support representatives in the call centers of large enterprises and tricking support staffers into running malware on their computers.
In those attacks, the Carbanak gang distributed RATs or backdoors in order to scout potential targets and get precious information about a company’s internal network.