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Email Vulnerability Pandemic. Are All Emails Worth Opening?

According to Microsoft, phishing attacks have become the preferred practice of cyber criminals. As attackers are seen using various techniques, tactics, and procedures (TTP’s) to lure targets, common phishing types include impersonating usernames, organizational domains, using cloud storage to host phishing kits and engaging in social engineering attacks with specially crafted attachments that look like attachments commonly used by an organization.

A common phishing practice is to steal account credentials via a phishing email and to use that compromised account to send out phishing emails to contacts listed in that account. Such attacks can leave both the account holder and their contacts vulnerable.

To tackle this threat, many organizations are now deploying email security gateways. This, however, is no longer enough. Even with this in place, user accounts can still become compromised by attackers. These accounts are then used to launch further sophisticated phishing attacks.

Phishing Attack Example

The below phishing attack example begins with a user receiving an email from a compromised third-party sender, with the subject line containing “share a folder”. The email asks for the recipient to open the link in the email body to access the shared folder, which contains a link to the senders SharePoint Online account.