GoDaddy tests employees with phishing email promising Christmas bonuses: report

Nearly 500 staffers clicked on missive asking for personal information

Might as well have offered a lump of coal.

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Internet domain behemoth GoDaddy sent employees an email promising a Christmas bonus — that turned out to actually be a computer security test.

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Some 500 staffers clicked on the Dec. 14 email from the Arizona-based company that offered a $650 holiday bonus and asked them to fill out a form with their personal information.

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“Happy Holiday GoDaddy! 2020 has been a record year for GoDaddy, thanks to you!,” said the message, obtained by Phoenix TV-station KPNX.

“Though we cannot celebrate together during our annual Holiday Party, we want to show our appreciation and share a $650 one-time Holiday bonus!”

Internet domain behemoth GoDaddy sent employees an email promising a Christmas bonus — that turned out that actually be a computer security test. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Two days later, employees got an email from GoDaddy’s security chief that read: “You are receiving this email because you failed our recent phishing test,” the Copper Courier newspaper reported.

Many social media users raked GoDaddy over the coals, calling the test tone-deaf amid the coronavirus pandemic that’s left millions of Americans financially reeling.

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The company on Thursday said it apologized to people who felt the email was “insensitive,” adding it “takes the security of our platform extremely seriously.”

“We understand some employees were upset by the phishing attempt and felt it was insensitive, for which we have apologized,” a spokesman said in a statement.