How the Interior Department Stopped a Phishing Attack


The phishing attack compromised more than 100 employees' credentials.

The Interior Department stopped a phishing attack by speeding up its plans to require two-factor authentication for email, the agency’s inspector general said.

More than 1,500 Interior employees received an email with a link to what appeared to be the agency’s standard log-in page. Instead, it captured credentials of more than 100 employees and resulted in network access through at least eight different Gmail accounts in January 2016, according to the report released Wednesday.

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The agency’s Office of the Chief Information Officer fast-tracked implementing two-factor authentication for its Gmail system, completing it 11 days after the attack.

“By implementing two-factor authentication, DOI ended the attack,” the report said. 

The IG said the source of the attack was "most likely physically located outside the United States" and turned information over to the FBI for investigation.