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Be Alert For “Consent Phishing” Emails

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The messages look like legitimate apps.

Cyber-criminals use various methods of “consent phishing” to break into your email inbox. Once inside, they steal your user credentials and can breach your email whenever they choose, whether you’re logged onto your computer or not. That’s a terrifying prospect.

Following is a post from KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman (reprinted with permission):

We’ve seen a number of these kinds of phishing attacks targeting mailbox access within Microsoft 365 and even posing as Coinbase. If you’re not familiar with these attacks, rather than trick the phishing victim into providing their Microsoft 365 credentials (which can easily be reset), the attack poses as a legitimate app and asks for application access to your mailbox (for reference, Outlook Mobile does this to facilitate continual access for your mobile phone to access your Microsoft 365 mailbox).

As a benefit of a Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance policy underwritten by Alta Professional Insurance Services, policyholders are automatically enrolled in the Alta Pro Lawyers Risk Purchasing Group (Alta Pro RPG). They have access to our exclusive policyholder-only services. The Alta Pro RPG website is intended to be a resource for independent agents, insured attorneys, insured paralegals/staff, and the general public.

In a recent tweet from Microsoft Security Intelligence, a new App – simply entitled “Upgrade” – was identified asking for OAuth permissions that would allow attackers to create inbox rules, read and write emails and calendar items, and read contacts. It’s also noted that suspicious Inbox Rules are created by this access and appears to exfiltrate emails.

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Source: Microsoft Security Intelligence

The good news is Microsoft has disabled this apps access across all of Microsoft 365. However, this does little for organizations, as new apps can be created asking for the same kinds of access.

The pivotal point where the attack can be stopped is when the malicious app is asking for access. Educating your users with Security Awareness Training would help ensure they are aware that – other than something like Outlook Mobile or another legitimate application  – no unexpected phishing email EVER needs access to their mailbox.

Source: KnowBe4 Microsoft Warns of Latest “Consent Phishing” Attack Intent on Reading Your Email (knowbe4.com)

Alta Professional Insurance Services Agency, LLC, (Alta Pro) provides innovative, intelligent, professional insurance underwriting, claims, risk management, product development, and sales and marketing services to our clients using state of the art information technology. Alta Pro adheres to the highest standards of ethics and integrity to achieve superior results for our clients. Led by experienced program administrators who know their clients’ insureds and the carriers’ appetites, Alta Pro continues to expand our program offerings across the U.S. 

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