FTC commissioner headed to BigLaw explains how she fell for a phishing scam

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An FTC commissioner who is leaving to join Hogan Lovells knows from first-hand experience how easy it is to fall for a phishing scam.

FTC Commissioner Julie Brill told her story to the Washington Post because she wants to warn others. “These are not the prince-from-Nigeria types of attacks of the past that we’re used to,” Brill told the newspaper. “These are deeply sophisticated.”

Brill says she was tricked when she saw an email from a business contact that included a Google Drive attachment. She clicked on the link and entered some personal information before she realized she was not on a Google site. She was on her personal computer at the time.

Brill’s accounts were protected, however, because she was using a two-factor authentication process that requires her to enter not only login credentials but also a special code sent to her mobile phone or another device.

Brill says she did consult with IT managers at the FTC. “Once they found out I had two-factor authentication and I had changed some passwords, they were comforted that I had done all that I could do,” she said.

A Washington Post article on Brill’s upcoming departure for Hogan Lovells describes her as “a deft lawyer and a defender of consumers’ rights.”

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