Rail firm trick staff with fake bonus email to test company's IT security

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Thousands of West Midlands Trains employees received a message from the managing director suggesting they could expect a reward for their work during the pandemic.

News | Daily Mail

Rail firm is slammed as 'cynical' after tricking staff with fake bonus email to test flaws in the company's IT security

  • West Midlands Trains purposely sent staff a fake email to test firm's IT security
  • Thousands of employees received the message from the managing director
  • The email suggested they could expect a reward for work if they clicked on link
  • Trade union TSSA's Manuel Cortes described it as a 'cynical and shocking stunt' 

A train company purposefully sent staff a fake email wrongly promising workers a financial bonus as a way to test the firm's IT security.

Thousands of West Midlands Trains employees received the message from the managing director suggesting they could expect a reward for their work during the pandemic if they simply clicked on a link.

But a follow-up email read: 'This was a test designed by our IT team to entice you to click the link and used both the promise of thanks and financial reward to try and convince you to provide your details.'

West Midlands Trains purposefully sent thousands of employees a fake email wrongly promising workers a financial bonus as a way to test the firm's IT security (file photo)

West Midlands Trains purposefully sent thousands of employees a fake email wrongly promising workers a financial bonus as a way to test the firm's IT security (file photo)

Trade union TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes described it as a 'cynical and shocking stunt'.

But a West Midlands Trains spokesman said: 'This important test was deliberately designed with the sort of language used by real cyber criminals but without the damaging consequences.'

It came as it emerged that cracks found under trains could disrupt travel until after the late May bank holiday.

Cracks were found on the chassis of some Hitachi Class 800 series trains over the weekend, with 182 of them taken out of service. 

And yesterday London North Eastern Railways acknowledged the issue is 'likely to be ongoing for a number of weeks'.

  • Rail firm trick staff with fake bonus email to test company's IT security photo


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