Is That Microsoft Email Really from Microsoft? Beware of Phishing Attacks!

September 2, 2023

Your email inbox is no stranger to lurking threats, but have you ever considered that an email seemingly from Microsoft could turn into your worst nightmare? Cybercriminals have elevated Microsoft, the tech giant we all trust, to the top spot when it comes to brand imitation in phishing attacks. These malicious emails aim to steal your precious data.

While Microsoft isn’t at fault, you and your team must remain vigilant for anything suspicious.

In the second quarter of 2023, Microsoft soared to the number one spot, accounting for a staggering 29% of brand phishing attempts. Google followed in second place at 19.5%, and Apple came in third at 5.2%. These three tech giants together comprise over half of all observed brand imitation attacks.

What does this mean for your business?

Despite the surge in fake emails targeting Windows and Microsoft 365 users worldwide, careful scrutiny can help shield you from identity theft and fraud attempts. Cybercriminals often stick to their tactics even as the most imitated brands change. They employ logos, colors, and fonts that look legitimate. Phishing scams often use domains or URLs similar to the real ones, but a close examination can reveal typos and errors – clear signs of a phishing attack.

One of the latest scams warns of unusual Microsoft account sign-in activity, directing you to a malicious link. These links are designed to steal everything from login credentials to payment details.

While tech companies remain popular scam subjects, many cybercriminals are turning to financial services like online banking, gift cards, and online shopping orders. Wells Fargo and Amazon both made the top five during Q2 2023, accounting for 4.2% and 4% of brand phishing attempts, respectively.

How can you protect your business?

The solution is simpler than you might think. The best approach to phishing is to pause, observe, and analyze. Check for inconsistencies in URLs, domains, and message content.

If you’d like assistance in keeping your team informed about these risks, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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