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Hackers Using Zero-Width Spaces to Bypass MS Office 365 Protection

Hackers Using Zero-Width Spaces to Bypass MS Office 365 Protection

January 10, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have been warning about a simple technique that cybercriminals and email scammers are already being using in the wild to bypass security features of Microsoft Office 365, including Safe Links, which are originally designed to protect users from malware and phishing attacks. Safe Links has been included by Microsoft in Office 365 as part of its ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) solution that works by replacing all URLs in an incoming email with Microsoft-owned secure URLs. Therefore, every time users click on a link provided in an email, Safe Links first sends them to a Microsoft owned domain, where it immediately checks the original link for anything suspicious. If Microsoft's security scanners detect any malicious element, it then warns the users about it, and if not, it redirects them to the original link. However, researchers at the cloud security company Avanan have revealed how attackers have been bypassing both Office 365's URL reputation check a
Email Phishers Using New Way to Bypass Microsoft Office 365 Protections

Email Phishers Using New Way to Bypass Microsoft Office 365 Protections

August 15, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Phishing works no matter how hard a company tries to protect its customers or employees. Security researchers have been warning of a new phishing attack that cybercriminals and email scammers are using in the wild to bypass the Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) mechanism implemented by widely used email services like Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft Office 365 is an all-in-solution for users that offers several different online services, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and other Office Web Apps, like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. On the top of these services, Microsoft also offers an artificial intelligence and machine learning powered security protection to help defend against potential phishing and other threats by going one level deep to scan the links in the email bodies to look for any blacklisted or suspicious domain. But as I said, phishers always find a way to bypass security protections in order to victimize users. Just over
Email Phishers Using A Simple Way to Bypass MS Office 365 Protection

Email Phishers Using A Simple Way to Bypass MS Office 365 Protection

June 19, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have been warning about a simple technique that cyber criminals and email scammers are using in the wild to bypass most AI-powered phishing detection mechanisms implemented by widely used email services and web security scanners. Dubbed ZeroFont , the technique involves inserting hidden words with a font size of zero within the actual content of a phishing email, keeping its visual appearance same, but at the same time, making it non-malicious in the eyes of email security scanners. According to cloud security company Avanan , Microsoft Office 365 also fails to detect such emails as malicious crafted using ZeroFont technique. Like Microsoft Office 365, many emails and web security services use natural language processing and other artificial intelligence-based machine learning techniques to identify malicious or phishing emails faster. The technology helps security companies to analyze, understand and derive meaning from unstructured text embedded in an
Hackers Found Using A New Way to Bypass Microsoft Office 365 Safe Links

Hackers Found Using A New Way to Bypass Microsoft Office 365 Safe Links

May 08, 2018Mohit Kumar
Security researchers revealed a way around that some hacking groups have been found using in the wild to bypass a security feature of Microsoft Office 365, which is originally designed to protect users from malware and phishing attacks. Dubbed Safe Links, the feature has been included in Office 365 software as part of Microsoft's Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) solution that works by replacing all URLs in an incoming email with Microsoft-owned secure URLs. So, every time a user clicks on a link provided in an email, it first sends the user to a Microsoft owned domain, where the company immediately checks the original URL for anything suspicious. If Microsoft's scanners detect any malicious element, it then warns users about it, and if not, it redirects the user to the original link. However, researchers at cloud security company Avanan have revealed how attackers have been bypassing the Safe Links feature by using a technique called, " baseStriker attack ."
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