"You've got a pay rise...Not really! Joke's on you!"
Delight turned to anger at Knights after lawyers were sent emails awarding them pay rises which turned out to be a phishing test.
A recent round of pay reviews at the listed firm went down “very poorly” according to insiders, who told RollOnFriday that many partners received zero uplift while numerous other lawyers received “tiny percentages on already way-below-market rates”.
So the jubilation was palpable when staff received emails purporting to be from Knights’ HR team acknowledging that a review had determined that they were in fact entitled to a substantial pay rise.
“After assessing the current salary structure as provided under the terms of your employment, it was discovered that you are due for a [double digit percentage] annual salary increase beginning in the upcoming fiscal quarter”, stated the email from [email protected].
“The details of your salary increase are enclosed in the attached document”, it read, requesting that recipients check the document to confirm the details were correct.
But when they opened the attachment, they were informed that the email was fake, and warned that they had fallen for the kind of phishing scam which, if it had been the work of cybercriminals, could have resulted in the theft of sensitive information.
It might have been better for everyone if the exercise had been the work of scammers. The awareness test went down “like a lead balloon” and prompted “strongly worded emails, partners threatening to leave and incredulity”, according to a source.
It was tempered with amusement amongst some Knights staff who didn’t find it “remotely surprising” that management could “misread the room to such an extent”.
A spokesperson for Knights was unapologetic for trolling their own staff, telling RollOnFriday, “We take cyber security very seriously so engage a number of third party providers to guard against continually evolving threats. Our phishing campaigns are run by a third party provider, which bases its scenarios on the phishing attempts that are prevalent currently, to make them as realistic as possible. Unfortunately, they are seeing a rise in phishing attempts based on pay rises and this prompted the theme of this campaign”.