Protecting employees from job scams can lead to awkward conversations

Protecting employees from job scams can lead to awkward conversations

The website for Securielite, a fake company set up to phish job-seekers. (Image from Google blog)

Google on Wednesday evening announced that North Korean hackers have continued to target information security professionals with fake job offers, perpetuating a campaign that previously involved the use of a zero-day browser exploit. This recruitment scam creates an unusual problem for security pros trying to inoculate their office from such threats: How do you start a conversation with employees about them seeking work elsewhere?


“If a target were successfully phished as a result of this campaign, they likely wouldn’t report it to their employer if they realized what happened, since the genesis of the attack was looking for another job,” said Hank Schless, senior manager for security solutions at Lookout.


North Korean hackers have been using job offer-type lures for a while in their social engineering campaigns targeting various industries. The campaign just detailed by Google involved a fake security firm with a credible looking website (“Securielete”) and phishing messages across multiple platforms, including LinkedIn. Schless said that security pros are a paranoid bunch that are tough to trick, but even they can fall for attacks such as this.


Network defenders that looking to turn this latest campaign into a teachable moment, however, should be careful with how they approach the issue. There have been recent controversies over the use of “insensitive” phishing simulation exercises, like sending fake phishing emails offering bonuses, only to pull the rug out from anyone who clicked on the offer. Job offers could create a simil ..