"Bonus Payment" Phishing Emails Are Seeking New Ransomware Victims

February 3, 2022
Law Firm Cyber Alerts

Risk Management Question

How can employees mitigate the risk of falling for phishing scams purportedly sent by their company's HR department?

The Issue

Scammers often know just the right thing to say to pique an employee's interest and lower their guard. Recently, a phishing campaign has re-emerged where bad actors send bogus emails that appear to be sent by the employer's HR department detailing important information regarding bonus payments. Even more convincingly, these emails often come from legitimate-looking domains and URLs.

These phishing attempts usually contain a fake attachment which, when clicked, asks the user to enter their email and password in order to access their bonus information. This type of scam, called "credential phishing," works by preying on human trust and distraction: employees are more likely to move quickly and ignore spelling and grammar mistakes when money is involved.

Once entered, phishers can use these credentials to subject the company to ransomware, remote access tools (RAT), keystroke logging malware, and desktop image capturing malware. Beyond the resulting damage to the business, the hacked credentials might also be sold on the dark web, leading to personal identity theft for the employee.

Risk Management Solutions

Follow these practical tips and share them with your employees to help spot phishing scams:

Scammers are getting smarter and more creative every day. But if you use your head and think before you click, you can outsmart them.