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Don't be fooled by this crafty new vishing attack, Microsoft customers warned

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(Image credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock )

A new voice phishing (vishing) scam is tricking victims by spooking them with fake Microsoft Defender invoices in an attempt to take control of their computers.

Cybersecurity experts at email security vendor Armorblox have shared details of the vishing campaign, which is the third of its kind encountered by the researchers this year.

Aimed at a cloud collaboration company, the scam begins with an email containing a fake invoice for a subscription for Microsoft Defender, inviting recipients to contact a toll-free number to sort any discrepancies.

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“We also observed a variant of this vishing email that made minor changes to the email title, body, invoice amount, and toll-free number, but was still essentially the same vishing email,” notes ArmorBlox’s Abhishek Iyer.

Wishful thinking

The researchers note that the scammers don’t just do a wonderful job of crafting the fake invoice, but also manage to get their message past Google Workspace email security.

The email is sent from a Gmail address, doesn't contain any URLs (malicious or otherwise), and nor does it have any attachments. The combination of these techniques helps the email bypass known detection controls. 

If someone calls the listed phone number, the attackers attempt to convince their victim to install a remote desktop tool (AnyDesk in this instance) in order to initiate an RDP attack.

“The end goal could have been installing malware/ransomware on the victims’ system, stealing their login data, extracting sensitive/confidential company information, and so on. Once the attacker has control of a victim’s system, all bets are off,” concludes Iyer.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.