Don't be fooled by this crafty new vishing attack, Microsoft customers warned

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A new voice phishing (opens in new tab) (vishing) scam is tricking victims by spooking them with fake Microsoft Defender (opens in new tab) invoices in an attempt to take control of their computers.

Cybersecurity (opens in new tab) experts at email (opens in new tab) security vendor Armorblox have shared details of the vishing campaign, which is the third of its kind encountered by the researchers this year.

Aimed at a cloud collaboration (opens in new tab) company, the scam begins with an email containing a fake invoice for a subscription for Microsoft Defender, inviting recipients to contact a toll-free number to sort any discrepancies.

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“We also observed a variant of this vishing email that made minor changes to the email title, body, invoice amount, and toll-free number, but was still essentially the same vishing email,” notes (opens in new tab) ArmorBlox’s Abhishek Iyer.

Wishful thinking

The researchers note that the scammers don’t just do a wonderful job of crafting the fake invoice, but also manage to get their message past Google Workspace (opens in new tab) email security.

The email is sent from a Gmail (opens in new tab) address, doesn't contain any URLs (malicious or otherwise), and nor does it have any attachments. The combination of these techniques helps the email bypass known detection controls. 

If someone calls the listed phone number, the attackers attempt to convince their victim to install a remote desktop (opens in new tab) tool (AnyDesk (opens in new tab) in this instance) in order to initiate an RDP attack (opens in new tab).

“The end goal could have been installing malware/ransomware (opens in new tab) on the victims’ system, stealing their login data, extracting sensitive/confidential company information, and so on. Once the attacker has control of a victim’s system, all bets are off,” concludes Iyer.

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.