Phishing scam uses Sharepoint and One Note to go after passwords

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Here’s a phishing email we received recently that ticks all the cybercriminal trick-to-click boxes.

From BEC, through cloud storage, via an innocent-sounding One Note document, and right into harm’s way.

Instead of simply spamming out a clickable link to as many people as possible, the crooks used more labyrinthine techniques, presumably in the hope of avoiding being just one more “unexpected email that goes directly to an unlikely login page” scam.

Ironically, while mainstream websites concentrate on what they call frictionlessness, aiming to get you from A to B as clicklessly as possible, some cybercrooks deliberately add extra complexity into their phishing campaigns.

The idea is to require a few extra steps, taking you on a more roundabout journey before you arrive at a website that demands your password, so that you don’t leap directly and suspiciously from an email link to a login page.

Here’s the phish unravelled so you can see how it works.

Stages of attack

First, we received an innocent looking email:


This one actually came from where it claimed – the proprietor of a perfectly legitimate UK engineering business, whose email account had evidently been hacked.

We didn’t know the sender personally, but we’re guessing he was a Naked Security reader and had corresponded with us in the past, so we appeared in his address book along with hundreds of other people.

We assume that many of the recipients corresponded with the sender regularly and would not only be inclined to trust his messages but also to expect attachments relating to business and projects they’d been discussing.