GoDaddy apologises to employees after Christmas bonus email turned out to be security test

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Dec 25, 2020, 04:19 PM(IST)

GoDaddy employees Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In December, around 500 employees of GoDaddy clicked on an email from the company offering a Christmas bonus of $650 and asking them to fill out a form with their personal details

GoDaddy, the largest internet domain management company in the world, on Friday, issued an apology to its employees that after an email that promised them a Christmas bonus in the midst of the economic crisis turned out to be a computer security test.

The Arizona-based company said "GoDaddy takes the security of our platform extremely seriously. We understand some employees were upset by the phishing attempt and felt it was insensitive, for which we have apologised."

A spokesman for GoDaddy added, "While the test mimicked real attempts in play today, we need to do better and be more sensitive to our employees."

In December, around 500 employees of GoDaddy clicked on an email from the company offering a Christmas bonus of $650 and asking them to fill out a form with their personal details.

Two days later, a different message appeared in their inboxes.

"You are receiving this email because you failed our recent phishing test," the email from GoDaddy's security chief read, according to Arizona's Copper Courier newspaper.

The technique of phishing, widely used by computer hackers, sees emails pretending to be a person known to the intended target, with the objective of obtaining information to infiltrate their computer systems.

The test email sparked uproar on social media as millions of Americans have been hit hard by the economic crisis linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Some observers pushed back on those condemning the company as a Scrooge, however, calling the move smart from a security standpoint. Some also argued that employees who fell for the trick were among “the most gullible user[s] on the planet.”

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