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Cyber-attack hacks off Brompton staff in playful yet impactful stunt

Blog date

05.02.2019

Author

Ben Rogers
Account Manager

It’s an age-old mantra that the most effective ideas are often the simplest, and that has proven true once again with our favourite marketing campaign of last month, by small business insurer Hiscox.

The company faced two major challenges when it came to promoting its cybercrime insurance product. Firstly, there is an assumption that SMEs aren’t targeted by cyber criminals – that they’ll only focus on the industry’s big players.  Then there is the need to stand out in a very crowded market on an issue that’s very difficult to visualise. Hiscox understood that to combat this it would have to highlight the impact a cyber-attack could have on a small business, but how?

The company pulled off the perfect stunt, cloning iconic cycling store Brompton in Shoreditch with an almost identical store which appeared overnight across the road. To the bewilderment of the store’s staff, not yet in on the prank, a series of off-line cyber-attacks were carried out against the legitimate store throughout the working day. Large bike deliveries were diverted to the fake store (phishing) and the legitimate shop was flooded with fake customers (simulating a DDoS attack).  The stunt culminates in the real store being boarded up, with a demand for a bitcoin payment to allow it to continue trading (mimicking ransomware).

Brompton HQ was, of course, in cahoots with Hiscox, to the detriment of its unsuspecting (yet very sporting) shop staff. As a result, the hidden camera footage captured the genuine reactions of those who were being affected – lending the film an impact and resonance that it would have been difficult to replicate through other means. This playful yet hard-hitting stunt scored a thumbs up from us.

Check out the video for yourself here:

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