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By Ethan Wolff-Mann
February 29, 2016
Bonaventure, Lionel—AFP/Getty Images

Snapchat’s human resources department fell for a big phishing scam recently, where its payroll department emailed W-2 tax data, other personal data, and stock option information to an email address that appeared to be of the CEO, Evan Spiegel.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the payroll department realized it had been interacting with a suspicious account and checked with Spiegel, who said he didn’t make any such request.

Snapchat employees were notified promptly and given free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance and no user data was compromised. Considering that the app is best known best as a place to exchange revealing photos and videos, if millions of such private moments been made public, it would have made the Ashley Madison scandal seem tame in comparison.

The company has experienced security breaches before. In 2013, 4.6 million users’ phone numbers were hacked and posted in a forum.

This phishing incident, which the FBI is investigating, is an example of one of the most successful tactics used today to mine sensitive information illegally. According to the Times, phishing or getting employees to click on something they shouldn’t is a top reason for information hacks.

Because of this, numerous organizations, participate in employee training to steel defenses against a phishing attack. Snapchat plans to participate in employee phishing training.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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