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GoDaddy , the world’s largest Internet domain name management company, apologized to its workers on Thursday after admitting that it misled them by emailing them a Christmas bonus amid the economic crisis, when in fact it was of a computer security test.

“We understand that some employees were upset by the phishing attempt and felt it was insensitive, for which we have apologized,” a GoDaddy spokesperson told foreign press . “Although the test simulated actual (cyber attack) attempts that are currently underway, we need to improve and show more empathy towards our employees,” the Arizona-based company added.

Approximately 500 employees did click in mid-December in an email from GoDaddy that announced a Christmas bonus of $ 650 and asked to fill out a form with personal information. Two days later, a completely different message appeared in their inbox: “They received this email because they failed our recent phishing test, ” GoDaddy’s chief security officer wrote to them , according to a local newspaper.

The phishing , widely used by hackers, is to send emails masquerading as partners known in order to obtain information allowing the infiltration of private computer systems.

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