Posted by - May 10, 2021

Everyone is familiar with the uptick in email phishing scams that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers and employers alike are adapting their security practices to defend company and consumer data. However, cybercriminals are adapting too. One group is combining phone calls and custom phishing sites to corporate VPN credentials. This group acts on a ‘bounty’ system, where a person hires the group to attack a specific company. Worst of all? The attacks have been remarkably successful.

So what does this attack look like? First, the group receives a request to target a specific company. They then create a site that mimics that company’s VPN portal. Once the setup is finished, the group makes a series of phone calls to employees working from home. The callers inform the target that they are with the company’s IT department trying to troubleshoot VPN issues. They then try to coerce the target into revealing their log-in information over the phone or entering their credentials into the fake website. At that point, the phishers have access to the company’s internal information.

This combination of fake websites and fraudulent calls have been more effective than traditional email phishing attempts. Despite that, workers can take steps to prevent being caught up in this scheme. If you receive a call from someone you don’t recognize who is asking for sensitive information, take these steps before disclosing anything.

  1. Ask for the caller’s name.
  2. Hang up and call your company’s IT department or managed services provider—do not just redial the number that called you.
  3. When you reach your company’s tech support, explain that you received a call from someone claiming to be from their department. Once you explain what the caller was asking for, they can confirm whether the call was legitimate.

If the call was legitimate, no harm done! You can continue troubleshooting the issue with only a small delay. If not, you’ve saved yourself and your company a lot of trouble. If you’re concerned about your company’s vulnerability to these types of combination attacks, OptfinITy is here to help! You can email us at or call us at (703) 790 – 0400 to discuss all your cybersecurity needs

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