MailGuard 19 April 2024 11:44:32 AEST 5 MIN READ

Beware Office 365 Password Reset Hoax

In a reminder that scammers are always trying to snare Office 365 credentials, this email claims to be a ‘Password Renewal Request’.

Shown below, the email comes from the sender name, ‘Authetication Sevices’, a failed attempt at conveying a sense of authority and legitimacy, with the poor grammar an immediate giveaway.

See an example of one of the emails below.


The email tells recipients that their ‘Portal Password’ is set to expire, and in advice contrary to any cybersecurity best practices, recommends that the user ‘take this time now to KEEP your same password activity below to protect you against login interruptions.’

The email includes a Word document as an attachment, obfuscating the link inside by embedding a HTML page within the document. The scammers also use HTML entities (a number to represent a symbol) to hide the actual destination of the link. The big blue button within the document again encourages recipients to ‘Keep Same Office 365 PassWord’. Including the HTML page in the Word document is a tactic designed to bypass some email security filtering services that might otherwise scan for links included in the email and immediately mark the email as a threat, blocking it from user inboxes.

Here's what the Word doc says:


In the final tranche of the scam, after clicking the blue button victims are directed to a convincing replica of an Office 365 login page (below), which is in fact a phishing page design to harvest user credentials. You guessed it, that’s why they want you to input your ‘Same Office 365 PassWord’, so they can re-use it to access your Microsoft services, and they can also sell those details to the highest bidder on the dark web.

This phishing page also employs covert measures to avoid detection, like CAPTHCA, and JavaScript designed to elude anyone investigating the page via a modern browser’s in-built developer tools. The scammers have also used Cloudflare to hide the host of the phishing page.



Microsoft credentials are highly prized by cybercriminals, providing access to the individuals account and the Microsoft tenancy of their employer. 

MailGuard advises all recipients of this email to delete it immediately without clicking on any links. Providing your personal details can result in your sensitive information being used for criminal activity and may have a severe negative impact on your business and its financial well-being.     

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 omits 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.      

Many businesses turn to MailGuard after an incident or a near miss, often as a result of an email similar to the one shown above. If unwanted emails are a problem for your business, don’t wait until it’s too late.  

Reach out to our team for a confidential discussion by emailing or calling 1300 30 44 30.

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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