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Office365 Dummy used for Phishing Attacks and Spam Alerts

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Fake Office 365 information is being used in a persistent series of phishing attacks that manipulates the victims to review their prohibited spam mails to steal their Microsoft credentials.  

The phishing emails instruct recipients to analyze spam messages that have been blocked. Because the attackers send the emails to the targets from (quarantine[at]messaging.microsoft.com). After gaining access to Microsoft credentials, fraudsters will utilize them to take complete control of the accounts and obtain access to all information.  

By providing threats with Microsoft credentials, they get unlawful access to victims’ personal data, such as contact information, calendars, and email communications, among other things. 

Spam Alerts That Aren’t Real 

The spam email hints to the recipient that a spam message has been stopped and is being kept for them to review,” according to MailGuard, a cloud email security firm that spotted the fraud. 

At the bottom of the email, the attackers have included links to Microsoft’s privacy statement and acceptable usage policy, as well as the official Office 365 logo. 

Fortunately, phishing emails frequently have text formatting flaws and additional space, allowing the fraudulent nature of these emails to be recognized upon closer analysis. 

“The spam emails also refer that an unsolicited mail message has been blocked and is being positioned in quarantine for his or her review. 

Office 365 Spam Alert Phishing 

Targets of 30 days had been given to study quarantined messages via way of means of clicking an embedded hyperlink in Microsoft’s Security and Compliance Center. 

However, rather than getting access to the Office 365 portal upon clicking the ‘Review’ button, they’re despatched to a phishing touchdown web page to ask them to go into their Microsoft credentials to get entry to the mail messages. 

How to Identify a Scam 

It’s critical to educate yourself about how to spot this fraud as a user – and as the last line of defense. 

A message informing you that your computer has been compromised. You will get certain messages saying “call on _ number” etc. The warning may be partial or full screen, however closing the window will be impossible, and clicking the close button (x) will not exit the popup. To close the alert box, you’ll need to end the process using the task manager. 

There’s a chance you’ll hear pre-recorded audio announcing the alert. 

These warnings have been reported on legal websites. Unless you follow the advice on the notice, they are usually harmless (for the time being). All browsers and OS systems have displayed warning messages. These alerts will not be blocked by your pop-up blocker. After receiving one of these warnings, it’s a good idea to erase your browser history and run a malware scan. User education, email screening, and multi-factor authentication are the best for defense. 

How Does the Scam Work? 

According to some sources, this phishing campaign follows a pattern that starts with sending emails in an attempt to acquire Office 365 account logins. For gaining access to the victim’s credentials, the attackers go after the victim’s address book, which is frequently filled with commercial and personal contacts. 

They exploit the first victim’s existing relationships as an ice breaker in the second stage of the attack, employing informal subject lines like “FYI” to induce the victim to lower their guard and take action. This loop keeps repeating itself. 

The stolen credentials can be used to gain access to anything the victim has access to, including cloud storage through One Drive, SharePoint, and Skype, posing a significant risk of data loss. 

Examples of Phishing 

  • To give you a sense of how this fraud appears, below are actual images of phishing emails targeting Office 365 users. 
  • After getting into their credentials in a malicious shape displayed on a phishing web page, info in their debts is despatched to attacker-managed servers. 
  • If they fall prey to those tricks, the victims’ Microsoft credentials will later be utilized by cybercriminals to take manipulate their debts and benefit get entry to to all in their information. 

“Providing your Microsoft account info to cybercriminals manner they’ve unauthorized get entry to for your touchy data, which includes touch information, calendars, electronic mail communications and more,” Mailguard said. 

The attractive goal for phishing assaults 

Office 365 customers are continuously focused on phishing campaigns that try and sabotage their credentials and use them in fraudulent schemes. 

Microsoft found out in August that a Highly competitive spear-phishing marketing campaign focused on Office 365 clients In numerous waves of assaults beginning in July 2020. In March, the corporation additionally warned of a phishing operation that Nearly 420,000 Office 365 credentials were stolen From December 2020 onwards.  

Despite the fact that phishing attacks are on the rise, they can be mitigated with appropriate technology and human intuition. Microsoft has been a popular target for threat actors, necessitating the implementation of strong security measures. 

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