MailGuard 03 November 2022 14:38:58 AEDT 5 MIN READ

Employees sent “salary payment approval list” in SharePoint branded phishing email

A new phishing scam is circulating which heavily uses SharePoint branding and targets unsuspecting employees by sharing a fake payroll file. If your business does not currently use MailGuard for email security, make sure to read on and share with your team so that you can protect your data and systems.

The email claims to come from “Account Payable”, but actually is sent from the email “post(at)remitrum(dot)co”, which is a new domain registered via an ISP in Norway. It lands in inboxes with the subject line “Account Payable shared a folder with you” to make it appear as though it could be a legitimate notification.

A large SharePoint logo is placed at the top of the email to help feign authenticity. Then, the email copy reads “[company URL] October salary payment approval list by the Board of Directors. Please review and keep for your records.” Underneath this, it looks as though a Word document titled “Board Approved_payroll” has been shared, and there’s a button to open the contract.

The email uses the recipients company name multiple times, as well as Microsoft and SharePoint branding in an attempt to make it feel more authentic. Aside from the SharePoint logo being slightly distorted, there are not many other red flags within the email.

Here’s an example of the email:  

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When the recipient clicks on the button to view the document, they’re taken to a phishing page which shows a blurred excel document in the background, and a popup covering it with the title “Sharepoint Secure File Sharing”, which also contains the SharePoint logo.

The user is shown a message that explains that “because you’re accessing sensitive info, you need to verify your password”. Their email is already auto filled, and they are instructed to enter their email password before clicking a button to “view document”.

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When the user’s password is entered, they’re shown an error which says, “Please try again later”. At this point, the hacker has harvested the email and password for later use, and the scam does not proceed past this page.

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Scams such as this are incredibly dangerous for businesses. They’re quick and effective, and without realising, an employee can easily hand over their email and password to a scammer, who can then use this to access the business’s internal systems and sensitive information. They may also use the email account to reach out to other employees, or clients and suppliers, and scam more individuals and businesses.

If you have this email, or something similar land in your inbox which you’re unsure about, get in touch with your payroll department directly, do not click ‘reply’ on the email. 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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