The world’s largest Internet domain company GoDaddy tested its employees with a holiday bonus notification on email phishing scams even after the prior declaration of not disbursing annual bonus this time. The email sent to all staff on Dec 14 that read:” Happy Holiday GoDaddy! 2020 has been a record year for GoDaddy, thanks to you!”.
“Though we cannot celebrate together during our annual Holiday Party, we want to show our appreciation and share a $650 one-time Holiday bonus!” the email continued. “To ensure that you receive your one-time bonus in time for the Holidays, please select your location and fill in the details by Friday, December 18th.”
All mail recipients were asked for submitting their personal information till December 18 to get the bonus in their account. A Dec.14 email was sent to hundreds of employees of GoDaddy for the holiday bonus which was denied earlier by the company and it was merely a phishing test. The number of GoDaddy employees sent screenshots of the email to Copper Courier. Three GoDaddy employees shared the email with The Copper Courier having a snowflake banner with a holiday-party invite theme
Two days later, around 500 employees received a second email from the side of the company’s chief security officer, Demetrius Comes. “You are getting this email because you failed our recent phishing test,” Comes wrote, according to The Copper Courier. “You will need to retake the Security Awareness Social Engineering training.” Security breaches and phishing emails that ask people to disclose their personal or financial information can hinder businesses and pose threat to people’s identity. Most people may criticize the bonus offers in GoDaddy’s test and mark it as quite insensitive. GoDaddy took some time to respond to a request for comment.
In the second quarter of 2020, GoDaddy made a record customer growth by surpassing 20 million customers. But, at the same time, it also had to reassign hundreds of employees amid of pandemic. The company currently has millions of customers and has a history of being a victim to several data breaches. Previously, it had faced the data breach in October 2019, as per Forbes. The company is not the first to use fake bonuses as a way to test employees.
News media company Tribune Publishing was also found to send a similar email to their employees in September in the name of bonuses. The company had already announced for the closing of a few newsrooms resulting in pay cuts and laying off some employees. Tribune apologized for the email calling it deceptive and insensitive.