LOCAL CYBERCRIME SPOTLIGHT: Email Spoofing Scam Impacts 400 Morton School District Employees

Just last month, an employee at Morton School District 709 got a legitimate-looking email, which was supposedly from the district’s superintendent, Lindsay Hall, and made requests for access to the 2016 W2 forms for some 400 school district employees. The employee complied with the request only to find out from superintendent Lindsay Hall that the email was not legitimate at all.

Morton School District

The school district had been subjected to an email-spoofing scam. Email-spoofing is quickly becoming one of the most common and convincing ways that sophisticated hackers are duping professionals into giving up information. When the school district employee complied with the request outlined in the email, the names, salaries and Social Security numbers of over 400 employees were sent directly to hackers, who investigators believe are located in Russia.

The next step? Damage control. After it was clear that a breach had occurred, school district representatives contacted law enforcement and ensured that all impacted employees had the proper tracking information required to monitor unauthorized use of their Social Security numbers. The school district responded correctly, however, the hack has left countless Morton organizations and businesses concerned about the ability of their own employees to spot email spoofing and prevent scams.

The ClearPath IT Solutions team has been warning business-owners about the increasing prevalence of email spoofing scams for some time. However, in light of this recent and local example, the ClearPath team is determined, now more than ever, to keep Morton businesses and institutions informed and vigilant. The team of experts at ClearPath IT Solutions knows that the best thing business owners can do to stay vigilant against email spoofing is to train and educate staff members.

Training employees to have a sharp eye for email scams is a company’s best defense against increasingly convincing cyber-scams. Building vigilance among employees can be achieved in a variety of ways including:

  • Hosting informative training on the leading threats and trends in cybercrime
  • Implementing practices to ensure employees verify the authenticity of email requests
  • Performing simulated attacks to help employees experience the serious reality of a hack

No matter how businesses choose to educate their employees, one thing is clear: an informed team who knows what to look for is the only way to truly combat email-spoofing. When users have a keen eye, and are on the look-out for suspicious emails, it becomes much harder for cybercriminals to carry out their convincing scams.

The IT security experts at ClearPath IT Solutions are familiar with a variety of programs and strategies that can help make employee awareness training easier. No matter the size or industry, the ClearPath team believes that every business can benefit from a stronger more informed team of tech users. In an age where information moves rapidly and so much of business relies on technology, it only makes sense to have a strong frontline defense against security breaches.

If you’re concerned that your employees might be vulnerable to spoofed emails or other cybersecurity threats, stay one step ahead and get in touch with ClearPath IT Solutions. Their team of security experts can help identify weak spots and build stronger awareness among your employees. Contact us right away at (309) 263-5600 or sales@clearpathIT.com to learn more.

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