Another day, another scam!  This one is aimed directly at your Office 365 mailbox!

Our partner, KnowBe4, has released a video showing proof of a concept social engineering attack that would allow a hacker to remotely encrypt your entire Office 365 mailbox in a matter of minutes.  The attack works like this:

You receive an email claiming to be an enhancement to your spam filtering.  Clicking the link prompts you to sign in to Office 365 and grant the new spam filter access to your mailbox.  Shortly after that, you’ll see your emails encrypt right before your eyes.


If you want to see the hack in action, you can check it out here:

This attack takes advantage of Microsoft’s lack of a verification process for apps that access Office 365, so it’s very simple to replicate and deploy.  You’ll certainly be seeing this one in the future!

Social Engineering is the process of attempting to trick a person into allowing an attacker to gain access to confidential information, often by compromising security credentials.  Ready for some fun facts?

  • In 2016, 65% of enterprises were the victim of a Social Engineering attack.
  • 66% of the malware came from malicious email attachments

So, the big question:  What can you do to protect yourself?  Well, there are three key things that will go a long way towards improving your defenses!


1:  Tune Your Spam Filter

It’s not enough to just deploy a spam filtering and call it a day.  You need to make sure you’re taking advantage of all of the features it has to offer, such as language filtering, anti-spoofing, and country-based filtering.  In 2017, we blocked almost 25 MILLION spam messages for our clients!


2: Know Your Enemy

Education on how to identify threats, known as Security Awareness Training, is a crucial part of any Cybersecurity Program.  We recommend that all staff with computer logins regularly receive training that helps them identify and deal with suspicious emails and phone calls.  This training should be followed up with regular testing, to ensure you’re providing the right training to the right people.

We chose to partner with KnowBe4 because they do both!  Their package provides an easy and effective way to keep track of both your training and testing initiatives.  For a small monthly cost, you gain visibility into your network’s weakest link.


3: Have A Backup Plan

Office 365 has some built in recovery options, but most are tuned towards protection from human error, not malicious attacks.  If you’re relying solely on Microsoft’s built-in recovery options, you’re leaving yourself open.  Bolstering Microsoft’s options with a cloud-based backup strategy is critical to quickly recovering from an incident.

A Cloud Backup Solution can provide cloud-based backups of email, OneDrive, and Sharepoint deployments.  With one click, we can recover an entire mailbox that’s been compromised!

There are plenty of other methods to enhance your security, such as multi-factor authentication and mobile device management, but if you implement the three strategies outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to a safer experience!