Just as predicted towards the end of last year, 2016 has already produced even more devious and creatively deceptive cyber security threats. Unfortunately, the newest threat is targeting users of a well-known, and fast growing software application for businesses – Microsoft Office 365.
Below is a copy of this recent scam, known as a phishing scam. What appears to be a seemingly harmless (and very important) email from Microsoft contains a link that if clicked, would cost your company thousands of dollars and irreparable damages to your network.
Phishing scams are a common tactic used by cyber criminals to harm and exploit a user’s network. Phishing scams trick the user into clicking a link, typically in an email, that will bring them directly to a site that deploys harmful viruses that can, and will, wreak havoc on the user’s computer and networks.
The link in the phishing scam originally contained a specific virus called CryptoLocker. This virus has the ability to encrypt every file on your computer and will hold these files ransom. If the user agrees to pay the ransom they are at the mercy of the criminals to release their files, if the users decides not to pay the ransom, their files will unfortunately be destroyed beyond repair.
Fortunately, there is a way to defend against this type of attack. Hilltop offers a product called OpenDNS that proactively monitors all current threats on the internet in real time. If someone clicks a link that is about to take them to a corrupt or harmful site, OpenDNS will protectively block access to that site, and thus, protecting their network – and their wallet!