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WCCO AM 830 with Cory Hepola, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022; Cory’s Phishing Text Message

Somebody sent Cory a phishing text message shortly after parent company, Audacy switched email from Outlook to GMail. The timing seems, well, fishy. Or phishy. Could somebody have penetrated GMail and stolen Cory’s phone number? But Cory’s phone is an Apple iPhone, so it’s not necessarily in the Google ecosystem. But Cory uses Chrome on his phone – so maybe. But text message phishing is growing, so maybe not.

Oh wow – I missed this when we were on the air. Cory looked at a news story and then came back to it later. His browser popped a warning that the site may be malicious. He discarded the warning because he visits that news site all the time. And then, fifteen seconds later, this phishing text message hit his cell phone.

Well, duh! News sites make money by serving ads to visitors. Ads come from third parties. But news sites don’t always vet the ads. And sometimes the third parties are malicious. That’s probably what triggered Cory’s phishing text message. Media companies don’t like to talk about it, but a famous similar incident happened with ESPN a few years ago.

Congratulations, Cory Hepola – the dark world has your cell number!

You’ll also want to virus-scan the computer you used to browse that news site.