Be Alert for a Microsoft Update Email Scam

Posted by MailGuard on 11 November 2021 12:41:25 AEDT

If you are one of the 300M+ users around the globe, be alert for an email scam that is targeting users claiming that an update is required.

 

With a subject line reading ‘Attention! Update required to avoid login interruption.’, MailGuard is currently blocking thousands of scam emails destined for Microsoft user inboxes. The emails are actually a malicious phishing scam aiming to harvest sensitive account credentials from unsuspecting victims. In the wrong hands, those credentials could be used to access Microsoft 365 accounts, including email and other services, resulting in theft, email & identity fraud, and/or the data may be sold on the dark web.

 

The email incorporates Microsoft branding and claims that an ‘updated privacy policy will take effect today’, asking users to click through to their email to accept the update in order to avoid interruptions. To boost credibility, the emails are also personalised, using the email address of the recipient throughout.  

Here’s what the email looks like:  

Microsoft Scam Email-01

 

When a user clicks on the blue button, they are taken to a phishing page, which is hosted on a compromised website. The recipient email address is pre-populated, and the page asks users to ‘verify your password’ to ‘Sign In’.

Microsoft Scam Email - Phishing Page-01

Once the credentials are entered and submitted, the attacker harvests them for later use, and the user is then redirected to a legitimate Microsoft 365 login page. A tactic used by cybercriminals to trick the victim into thinking they have provided their details to a trustworthy source.  

Providing your Microsoft account details to cybercriminals means that they have unauthorised access to your sensitive data, such as contact information, calendars, email communications and more, which could lead to criminal activity such as BEC, identity theft and other fraudulent activity. Customers of trusted brand names such as Microsoft are targeted by cybercriminals due to their expansive user base, so customers must remain vigilant and check twice before clicking on any potentially harmful links. 

MailGuard urges users not to click links or open attachments within emails that:    

  • Are not addressed to you by name.    
  • Appear to be from a legitimate company but use poor English or omit personal details that a legitimate sender would include.    
  • Are from businesses that you were not expecting to hear from, and/or    
  • Take you to a landing page or website that is not the legitimate URL of the company the email is purporting to be sent from.      

One email is all that it takes    

All that it takes to devastate your business is a cleverly worded email message that can steal sensitive user credentials or disrupt your business operations. If scammers can trick one person in your company into clicking on a malicious link or attachment, they can gain access to your data or inflict damage on your business.    

For a few dollars per staff member per month, you can protect your business with MailGuard's predictive and advanced email security. Talk to a solution consultant at MailGuard today about securing your company's inboxes.    

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Topics: Phishing Email Security office 365 microsoft Cybersecurity Microsoft Office scam alert email scams risk management fastbreak

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