Be aware of a new phishing scheme that impersonates the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The IRS issued a warning about a recent phishing email that tries to trick users into clicking a link to a phony FBI questionnaire that installs ransomware on the user’s computer. The malware encrypts user’s data and demands a ransom for decryption.

The scam email may appear legitimate to the untrained eye—using both official IRS and FBI logos. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen stated, “People with tax issues won’t get their first contact from the IRS with a threatening email or phone call.” Should you receive the phishing email, do not click the link contained therein. Click here to view the IRS’s press release that includes an image of the email.

Should you become infected with the ransomware, do not pay the ransom. There is no guarantee you will receive access to your files afterward. Restore your files from backups if possible.

Phishing schemes like this attack the weakest link in the IT security chain—humans. It is extremely important to educate yourself and your employees. With Security Awareness Consulting from Atomic Data’s certified Security & Compliance experts, your staff will be less inclined to fall victim to this and many other types of social engineering. Consulting also includes best practice information on credentials management, email security, web security, physical security and more. Contact us today to find out more, or if you’re worried your company is susceptible to attack.

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