Online security

Cybercriminals target new hires looking to impress their boss

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Who doesn’t want to impress management during the few months on the job? So when the boss texts you asking if you’re available for a “quick task,” chances are you’ll follow through.

According to internet security experts, this is what cybercriminals rely on. And they succeed.

Dr. Chris Pierson is a cybercrime expert who served for 10 years on the privacy and cybersecurity committees of the US Department of Homeland Security.

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“What’s really kind of key is this,” he said. “People who find a job are the most targeted. It could be a younger population; it could be people changing jobs. And the reason is that you always want to do your best for the first three or six months of your job. You always want to please.

“It’s incredibly lucrative.”

Lisa Tilt, founder and CEO of Full Tilt Consulting in Roswell, Georgia, said cybercriminals target small businesses and recently texted one of her new hires.

The text read: “I am currently in communication with partners and I need you for a quick task, are you available? »

Cybersecurity experts are warning companies and their employees about fake text messages that appear to come from supervisors.(WGCL)

When the employee replied that she was available, the scammer texted: “I need Google gift cards added to an email thank you card for a customer. Can you please confirm if you can get Google maps from the nearest store?”

The employee was smart enough to contact her boss directly to confirm. But how did the scammer get his name and cell phone number in the first place?

Cybersecurity experts are warning companies and their employees against fake text messages that...
Cybersecurity experts are warning companies and their employees about fake text messages that appear to come from supervisors.(WGCL)

Pierson said no hacking was necessary because much of this information is available online through the websites of data brokers. Combine that data with simple information on LinkedIn, and cybercriminals have a roadmap of how to contact virtually anyone.

“Sometimes small businesses think we’re not on anyone’s radar and we’re not,” Tilt said.

Pierson said the easiest way to stop the boss texting scam is for companies to often educate their employees and spell out its procedures in company policy, and make sure no financial dealings go wrong. is carried out without direct communication.

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