The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an information campaign to counter a social engineering attack via the telephone. Four different offenders phoned 48 employees and made them believe that their PC was distributing spam emails. Targets were told that this situation could be solved by downloading and executing software from a website (i.e. an untrusted one). A total of 46.15 % of employees not exposed to the intervention followed the instructions of the offender. This was significantly different to those exposed to an intervention 1 week prior to the attack (9.1 %); however there was no effect for those exposed to an intervention 2 weeks prior to the attack (54.6 %). This research suggests that scam awareness-raising campaigns reduce vulnerability only in the short term.
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