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How employers are using cute kittens to avoid cyberattacks

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Field kitten
Field kitten

The next time you receive a company-wide email at work that includes images of kittens, you might want to think twice about opening them. The Wall Street Journal reports that PhishMe, a company that emulates fake phishing attacks, is increasingly being used by companies to train employees about the risks of opening email attachments and visiting risky websites. PhishMe claims that its clients have taught around 3.8 million employees how to avoid cyberattacks, often with the use of kittens.

"We always recommend they start with cute cats," says PhishMe co-founder Aaron Higbee. When employees get caught by the fake email they're then schooled by internal security teams to avoid real attacks in future. While it's hard to prove the effectiveness of such a campaign, if you get some fake kittens from your boss then there's a good chance you'll avoid kitten work emails in future. Cute dogs, though? Who knows.