Fraudulent emails tell recipients their W-2 forms are ready and prompt them to click malicious links.
Cybercriminals eager to jump-start tax season have launched a phishing campaign targeting some ADP users, telling them their W-2 forms are ready and prompting them to click a malicious link.
Links embedded in the fraudulent email redirect users to a phishing website designed to look like an ADP login page. These domains were registered the same day as the attack, note AppRiver researchers who discovered the campaign. From there, attackers can steal the ADP usernames and passwords of unsuspecting victims who fall into the trap.
With an employee’s ADP credentials in hand, an attacker can commit any number of malicious activities. They could possibly expose bank account numbers or change their direct deposit information and redirect payments to attacker-controlled accounts, a potentially lucrative tactic if the employer doesn’t require two-factor authentication (2FA) for this type of important change.
An attacker could also access a range of personal data including name, birth date, physical address, pay stubs, or Social Security number — all the information they’d need to commit identity theft. They could also locate an employee’s tax documents, which could be used to file fraudulent tax returns on the worker’s behalf and redirect the funds to attackers’ accounts.
As tax season approaches, Troy Gill, manager of security research at AppRiver, advises employees to keep in mind that the IRS will never require you to take action via email. All documentation should be handled with caution: When you receive an alert that tax documents are available, directly navigate to the source instead of following an emailed link. And, of course, enable 2FA whenever possible.
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