Cybercriminals Craft ‘Password Expiry Notification’ Email to Scam Outlook Web App Users

Posted by MailGuard on 07 October 2021 13:39:46 AEDT

Outlook Web App users must take care and double-check any emails advising that your password has expired - it’s more than likely a phishing attempt by cybercriminals to steal login credentials.  

The email, intercepted by MailGuard, carries the subject title, ‘Password Expiry Notification’ and has been sent from a compromised email account purporting to be from Outlook’s ‘ePortal’. The body of the email imitates Outlook’s well-known branding to try and lure unsuspecting victims into believing that it is legitimate communication. Upon closer inspection of the email however, obvious grammatical errors, in this case, highlighted in red, allude to its inauthenticity. Users are provided with a warning that their account credentials will be lost, if they do not renew their password, set to ‘expire in 1 day(s)’.  

Here’s what the email looks like:  

OWA-email-01 

When the user clicks on the ‘Keep Password’ button, they are taken to the following phishing page, requesting Outlook credentials, a username and password, in order to continue. After entering these details, scammers harvest these credentials, and victims are then redirected to an Office 365 Service Status page. Note, the phishing page, is almost an exact replica of a true Outlook Web App login page.  

OWA-phishing-page-01

Providing your Outlook 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 Outlook and Office 365 by Microsoft, are targeted by cybercriminals due to their expansive user base, therefore, 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 Cybersecurity scam alert email scams risk management Outlook Web Application

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