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Microsoft Office hit by phishing scam

Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti
02 November 2017 1 minute readShare

Reports have emerged of a new phishing scam targeting Australian users of Microsoft Office 365 products, potentially crippling businesses during the busy pre-Christmas season.

It is understood that both individuals and businesses across the country have been targeted in recent days by an email purporting to be from Microsoft, which tells recipients to upgrade their accounts because of a lack of available storage space.

People following these instructions were then taken to a fake website, where the scammers obtained the relevant log-in details.


Microsoft has been contacted for comment.

It comes just days after accounting software giant MYOB received complaints about an eerily similar situation regarding forced upgrades, although that instance is not believed to be the result of a scam.

Responding to the Microsoft scam, cyber security company McAfee unveiled a list of steps businesses can take boost detection and response capabilities:


  • Integration is everything: If your security products don’t talk, you won’t see the full picture. And you might miss a breach.
  • Understand your entire environment: Many often underestimate how many servers, applications and devices are in their organisation.
  • Keep your eyes on the data: Quickly detecting anomalous activity is essential.
  • Stay up-to-date on the threats: Sharing gives you, and everyone in your industry, invaluable insight into the latest vulnerabilities and dangers. Use tools that can monitor, collect, manage, prioritise and share threat intelligence.
  • Prioritise assets, events and actions: Triage is the key during an attack. Know your most critical assets and when to sound alarms. Plan ahead to save precious time defending your most important assets should they come under attack.
  • Practice: Just like fire drills, run regular drills to improve response times. Simulate breaches, conduct drills, or hire a penetration testing firm to attack you from outside.
  • Be proactive: Being proactive with your security, rather than reactive, is the only way to safeguard your business.
  • Regulate external access: Many breaches originate with third-party suppliers, partners, or cloud providers. Ensure that every entity connected to your network environment, without exception, adheres to your security policies. Also, set privilege, time, and location controls to make certain partners can access only prescribed systems and data.




Microsoft Office hit by phishing scam
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Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016. 

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Email Adam at [email protected]

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