SharePoint Impersonated in O365 Credential Phishing Attempt

July 27, 2020

SharePoint is an increasingly popular tool for Microsoft users, especially in a time when millions of employees are working remotely. In this attack, malicious actors make use of an automated message from Sharepoint to send phishing emails.

Summary of Attack Target

  • Platform: Office 365
  • Email Security Bypassed: Proofpoint
  • Payload: Malicious Link
  • Technique: Impersonation

Overview of the SharePoint Impersonation Attack

This attack impersonates an automated message from SharePoint to send phishing emails. The email itself is not addressed to any specific individual and is instead meant to cast a wide net to phish for employee credentials. Here, attackers are leveraging the probability that at least one employee will fall for the attack, and—if successful—can use their credentials to gain access to sensitive corporate information or to launch additional, more successful attacks using the compromised account.

The body content is brief and uses language similar to automated file-sharing notifications. The name of the target company is inserted at every possible point, including the sender display name, and is pretending to originate from within the user’s organization. The content of the email is vague and encourages the user to click the link to see the SharePoint documents.


After clicking on the link, the landing page is reached through multiple redirects and ultimately lands the recipient on an impersonated SharePoint page where they are encouraged to click to download the file.


Clicking on it either redirects to a submission form where the recipient can enter their credentials, or downloads a PDF that redirects to another site. If the recipient falls victim to this type of attack, their credentials are compromised, as well as any data stored on their account. This places employees and their networks at considerable risk as attackers can launch internal attacks to steal more credentials and information from the organization.

Why the SharePoint Impersonation Attack is Effective

Within the email, the malicious URL is disguised as text via hyperlink. If the link was not disguised, the recipient might spot an inconsistency, as the landing page does not lead to a SharePoint link. That said, the landing page itself looks identical to a secure SharePoint file that requires the recipient's credential information.

The landing page utilizes the Microsoft and SharePoint logos to impersonate these official brands and masquerade as a legitimate site. In the email body, the recipient’s company name was also used numerous times to impersonate an internal document shared by this service. Recipients may be convinced that the email is safe and coming from their company because of the repetitive inclusion of the company name.

Abnormal can detect and stop this attack due to the unusual sender, where the display name matches the Microsoft band, but the email does not. Further analysis shows the suspicious link and the language that conveys that it might be attempting to steal credentials. Combined, these are all indicators that the email is malicious, prompting Abnormal to block it before it reaches inboxes.

To learn how Abnormal can protect your organization from credential phishing attempts, request a demo today.

Previous
Blog yellow microsoft
Skype is used prolifically in both casual and business settings. As a result of its affiliation with Microsoft, it is a popular choice for attackers to impersonate in order to trick victims into handing over their Microsoft credentials. In these attacks, the sender...
Read More
Next
Blog purple building
Microsoft provides security alerts in the case of fraudulent logins on user accounts. Users are usually able to trust these emails due to the source being from a trusted brand. And because the email relates to account security, the recipient may unconsciously trust...
Read More

Related Posts

B 10 15 21
With Detection 360, submission to threat containment just got 94% faster, making it incredibly easy for customers to submit false positives or missed attacks, and get real-time updates from Abnormal on investigation, conclusion, and remediation.
Read More
Extortion blog cover
Unfortunately, physically threatening extortion attempts sent via email continue to impact companies and public institutions when received—disrupting business, intimidating employees, and occasioning costly responses from public safety.
Read More
Blog engineering cybersecurity careers
Cybersecurity Careers Awareness Week is a great opportunity to explore key careers in information security, particularly as there are an estimated 3.1 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs. This disparity means that cybercriminals are taking advantage of the situation, sending more targeted attacks and seeing greater success each year.
Read More
Blog hiring cybersecurity leaders
As with every equation, there are always two sides and while it can be easy to blame users when they fall victim to scams and attacks, we also need to examine how we build and staff security teams.
Read More
Cover automated ato
With an increase in threat actor attention toward compromising accounts, Abnormal is focused on protecting our customers from this potentially high-profile threat. We are pleased to announce that our new Automated Account Takeover (ATO) Remediation functionality is available.
Read More
Email spoofing cover
Email spoofing is a common form of phishing attack designed to make the recipient believe that the message originates from a trusted source. A spoofed email is more than just a nuisance—it’s a malicious communication that poses a significant security threat.
Read More
Cover cybersecurity month kickoff
It’s time to turn the page on the calendar, and we are finally in October—the one month of the year when the spooky becomes reality. October is a unique juncture in the year as most companies are making the mad dash to year-end...
Read More
Ices announcement cover
Abnormal ICES offers all-in-one email security, delivering a precise approach to combat the full spectrum of email-borne threats. Powered by behavioral AI technology and deeply integrated with Microsoft 365...
Read More
Account takeover cover
Account takeovers are one of the biggest threats facing organizations of all sizes. They happen when cybercriminals gain legitimate login credentials and then use those credentials to send more attacks, acting like the person...
Read More
Blog podcast green cover
Many companies aspire to be customer-centric, but few find a way to operationalize customer-centricity into their team’s culture. As a 3x SaaS startup founder, most recently at Orum, and a veteran of Facebook and Palantir, Ayush Sood...
Read More
Blog attack atlassian cover
Credential phishing links are most commonly sent by email, and they typically lead to a website that is designed to look like common applications—most notably Microsoft Office 365, Google, Amazon, or other well-known...
Read More
Blog podcast purple cover
Working at hyper-growth startups usually means that unreasonable expectations will be thrust on individuals and teams. Demanding timelines, goals, and expectations can lead to high pressure, stress, accountability, and ultimately, extraordinary growth and achievements.
Read More