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Microsoft warns Office 365 users over this sneaky phishing campaign

Cartoon Phishing
(Image credit: Shutterstock / DRogatnev)

Microsoft's Security Intelligence team has shared details about an ongoing phishing email scam that cleverly employs various detection evasion techniques to trick most automated filters and users in its attempt to garner Microsoft Office 365 credentials.

Phishing attacks have skyrocketed with the prevalence of remote working, and have become one of the major threats that plagues businesses these days. A recent survey found an overwhelming majority of the respondents across the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia and Japan falling prey to a phishing attack in the last year alone.

Sharing details of the newest campaign, cybersecurity researchers at Microsoft said that in addition to Office 365, the scam also phishes for Google Cloud credentials with the help of a compromised SharePoint site.

"An active phishing campaign is using a crafty combination of legitimate-looking original sender email addresses, spoofed display sender addresses that contain the target usernames and domains, and display names that mimic legitimate services to try and slip through email filters," the Microsoft Security Intelligence team revealed on Twitter.  

Sneakier than usual

The use of SharePoint in the display name as well as in the message, is one of the techniques the scam relies on to appear legitimate, as per the researchers.

The emails appear to share files that are strategically named as "Staff Reports", "Bonuses", "Pricebooks", and such to appear as legitimate business emails.

The links however point to phishing pages that tricks users into divulging their Google and Office 365 login credentials.

"The original sender addresses contain variations of the word "referral" and use various top-level domains, including the domain com[.]com, popularly used by phishing campaigns for spoofing and typo-squatting," share the researchers as they enumerate some of the detection evasion techniques used by this “sneakier than usual” campaign.

Mayank Sharma

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.