Beware of phishing emails claiming your free trial subscription is over and you must call a number to cancel or renew.
Usually, the attack starts with phishing emails advising you that a trial subscription has expired and that you will be automatically charged a monthly fee or locked out of the account.
How the Attack Works
For this type of attack, the cybercriminal uses fear of losing your subscription to get you to take their desired action – calling the number provided.
“When recipients call the number, a fraudulent call center operated by the attackers instructs them to visit a website and download an Excel file in order to cancel (or renew) the service. The Excel file contains a malicious macro that downloads the payload,” Microsoft Security Intelligence explains.
Once the malware is on the PC it provides backdoor access to anything that the device is connected to through the network. Criminals will use this backdoor access to send follow-up malware, scan the environment and exploit other vulnerable hosts on the network.
Other targets of phishing emails:
- O365 password resets
- Domain hosting
- Anti-virus software subscriptions
How to Recognize Phishing Emails
Remember the common signs of phishing emails, such as an eye-catching subject line, typos or grammatical errors, suspicious links, and inconsistent sender addresses.
In addition, do not take any communication at face value until it has been verified to be legitimate. One way you can do this is by ensuring that the address the email was sent from is authentic and hovering to see if any files sent are in an executable format.
It is also important for you to know who manages your subscriptions. Arming yourself with this knowledge allows you to easily recognize phishing attempts.
You receive an email stating your 0365 account needs to be renewed by a specific date. You know your emails are managed through CommWest (your Technology Partner). Instead of attempting to figure out if the email is legitimate or if you need to renew, you simply contact us. We’ll diagnose and take any necessary course of action.
Mistakes Happen, So Layer Your Cybersecurity
Mistakes happen – we’re human. That is why we encourage all our clients to layer their cybersecurity. With this type of attack, one device infected with malware can potentially spread to other parts of your business. But, with layers of protection malware is not able to exploit other vulnerabilities. It is isolated before damage can be done.