OHSU apologizes after COVID financial aid phishing test sparks complaints

Officials at Oregon Health & Science University have apologized to employees after a bogus phishing test sparked complaints of raising false hopes.

The university sent the phishing test email to employees on April 12, offering up to $7,500 in financial aid, Portland television station KGW reported Thursday (8).

The email, from a “[email protected]” address, read in part: “In response to the current community challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon Health & Science University has decided to help all employees through these difficulties. times.” It included a link where respondents could “sign up” for COVID-related benefits.

But the offer wasn’t real — it was a test to measure employee cybersecurity awareness and OHSU’s own technology systems. The test was sent several days after the university sent a message to employees warning them of the suspicious emails.

The phishing test has caused frustration among some employees.

In a prepared statement, OHSU apologized and said the university had not fully considered the damage the phishing test could cause.

“This week, as part of OHSU’s regular exercises to help members practice spotting suspicious emails, the language used in the test email was taken verbatim from an email actual phishing mail to ensure no one else falls for the scam. It was a mistake,” the OHSU statement said. “The real scam was insensitive and exploitative of OHSU members – and the attempt to educate members felt the same way, causing confusion and concern.”

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