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Threat Actors Use QR Codes to Steal Login Credentials

Passwords and usernames for cloud services of enterprises have become a main target for hackers.


Hackers are distributing phishing mails having QR codes in a cyberattack campaign built to extract login details of Microsoft 365 cloud apps. Passwords and usernames for cloud services of entreprises have become a main target for hackers, exploiting these to launch ransomware and malware attacks, or by selling stolen login details to other threat actors, who exploit it for their own campaigns. 

Threat Actors are finding sneaky opportunities to scam victims into opening malicious links that lead to phishing websites built to look like genuine Microsoft login webpages, and smartly selling the login credentials. 

Cybersecurity experts at Abnormal Security analyzed a recent campaign, the researchers sent various phishing mails which tried to use QR codes built to evade mail protections and steal login details. QR codes are useful when it comes to attempts malicious tasks, as standard mail security regulations like URL scanners don't detect any hint of suspected links or attachments in the email. 

The campaign is operated via email accounts hacked earlier, which allows hackers to send mails from authentic user accounts of companies to give a look of authenticity to these mails, and users believe it to be legitimate. As of now, experts are yet to confirm how threat actors are able to get control of these accounts used for sending phishing mails. 

As per experts, these phishing mails contain a voicemail message from the email account admin sending the mail, the target is requested to scan a QR code for listening to the voice mail. The QR codes sent to the victims were also created the same day. An earlier variant of the campaign tried to scam users into opening a malicious link by hiding it in an audio file. 

But, antivirus softwares were able to find and identify the malicious files, which made threat actors turning to QR codes. "While using the QR codes method can more easily bypass email protections, the victim needs to follow many more steps before they reach the point where they could mistakenly give their login credentials to cyber criminals. Applying multi-factor authentication to Microsoft 365 accounts can also help protect login details from being stolen," ZDNet reports.
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