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New WhatsApp-based Attack Simulator Conditions Learners to Identify Scams

By Cofense

The COVID 19 global pandemic has expedited the already rising remote work culture for many companies, introducing new norms when it comes to communicating with employees.

These new norms introduce new avenues for nefarious actors to take advantage of that may have been previously unutilized. In fact, according to ITPro.com, smishing attacks increased 700% in the first six months of 2021 in the UK.

Conditioning employees to recognize phishing attacks no matter the avenue is critical for the health of the business and for their own protection.

Cofense’s newest simulator provides a low-risk and low-cost solution for conditioning learners against the dangers of WhatsApp-based cyberattacks on both Android and iOS devices.

Figure 1: Learners can choose Android or iOS-based simulations based on their provider of choice.

This two-part simulator begins with an urgent WhatsApp message prompting the learner to call an unknown number. If the learner calls the number, they hear a recorded voice asking them to send a wire transfer. After listening to the message, they get to choose what their next move is – will they transfer funds or hang up? Taking an approach of an interactive simulation shows the learner what could happen instead of trying to explain a hypothetical situation to them in text or via dialogue alone. This simulator inserts them into the scenario and walks them through the steps they should take to better protect themselves and their organization.

Figure 2: After viewing a WhatsApp message, the Learner chooses whether they want to make a follow-up call to the sender.

The Cofense LMS hosted WhatsApp package also includes a quiz to track successful employee completion.