Microsoft Office 365 users have been the target of a sophisticated phishing scam which sends fake alerts to domain administrators, in a bid to compromise their accounts.
The emails, which address time-sensitive issues such as expired licenses and unauthorised access alerts, aim to create a sense of urgency and immediate action to prompt the administrator to enter their Microsoft login credentials into a phishing landing page.
To add authenticity, the cybercriminals use a windows.net domain and a valid Microsoft SSL certificate. However, the hyperlinked text within the email contains a malicious URL address.
The credentials entered into the imitated login page are then checked in real-time and, if they are valid, hackers can immediately sync the user’s emails to a remote client. Unknowingly, the victims are redirected to their own Office 365 inbox so that they remain unaware that the account has been accessed.
As the user will not realise their account has been compromised, this allows the cyber criminals further time to make changes to the account which may be of benefit them such as password changes and in depth searches of their inbox.
Phishing continues to prove one of the most successful and effective ways for cyber criminals to defraud us and steal our personal and financial information. In fact, research has found that 91% of all cyber-attacks start with a phishing email.
Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, targeted and difficult to spot. So how do you spot the difference between a phishing email and a legitimate message?
Check before you click
Does the URL match the address displayed? If not, it is an indication that the message is fraudulent and likely to be a phishing email.
Requests personal information
If the email asks for personal information such as an account number, password, pin or security questions then approach with caution. A reputable company will never request these personal details in an email.
Poor spelling and grammar
If you spot any spelling mistakes or poor grammar within an email, it is unlikely to have come from an official organisation and could indicate the presence of a phishing email.
Sense of urgency
If the email creates a sense of urgency and encourages you to act immediately, this may be a sign of a phishing scam. If you are unsure if the request is legitimate, contact the company directly via their official website or telephone number.
If an offer seems too good to be true, then it usually is! Be wary of emails that inform you that you have won a competition that you did not enter or requests you to click on a link to claim a prize.
Our MetaPhish platform has been specifically designed to protect businesses like yours from phishing and ransomware attacks, providing the first line of defence in combating cyber-crime. Using an extensive range of templates, you can keep your staff safe from phishing scams through automated training that engages, educates and informs staff of phishing threats.