New tech support scam launches communication or phone call app

A new tech support scam technique streamlines the entire scam experience, leaving potential victims only one click or tap away from speaking with a scammer. We recently found a new tech support scam website that opens your default communication or phone call app, automatically prompting you to call a fake tech support scam hotline.  …


#AVGater vulnerability does not affect Windows Defender Antivirus, MSE, or SCEP

On November 10, 2017, a vulnerability called #AVGater was discovered affecting some antivirus products. The vulnerability requires a non-administrator-level account to perform a restore of a quarantined file. Windows Defender Antivirus and other Microsoft antimalware products, including System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) and Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), are not affected by this vulnerability. This vulnerability…


Detecting reflective DLL loading with Windows Defender ATP

Today’s attacks put emphasis on leaving little, if any, forensic evidence to maintain stealth and achieve persistence. Attackers use methods that allow exploits to stay resident within an exploited process or migrate to a long-lived process without ever creating or relying on a file on disk. In recent blogs we described how attackers use basic…


Mitigating and eliminating info-stealing Qakbot and Emotet in corporate networks

The threat to sensitive financial information is greater than ever. Data breaches, phishing attacks, and other forms of information theft are all too common in today’s threat landscape. Point-of-sale systems and ATMs have been targeted by hackers. Information-stealing trojans pose a risk to data and can lead to significant financial loss. Qakbot and Emotet are…


Stopping ransomware where it counts: Protecting your data with Controlled folder access

Windows Defender Exploit Guard is a new set of host intrusion prevention capabilities included with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. One of its features, Controlled folder access, stops ransomware in its tracks by preventing unauthorized access to your important files. Encryption should protect your data and files. Ransomware twists the power of encryption against you…


Browser security beyond sandboxing

Security is now a strong differentiator in picking the right browser. We all use browsers for day-to-day activities like staying in touch with loved ones, but also for editing sensitive private and corporate documents, and even managing our financial assets. A single compromise through a web browser can have catastrophic results. It doesn’t help that…


Exploit for CVE-2017-8759 detected and neutralized

The September 12, 2017 security updates from Microsoft include the patch for a previously unknown vulnerability exploited through Microsoft Word as an entry vector. Customers using Microsoft advanced threat solutions were already protected against this threat. The vulnerability, classified as CVE-2017-8759, was used in limited targeted attacks and reported to us by our partner, FireEye. Microsoft would like…


Ransomware 1H 2017 review: Global outbreaks reinforce the value of security hygiene

In the first six months of 2017, ransomware threats reached new levels of sophistication. The same period also saw the reversal of a six-month downward trend in ransomware encounters. New ransomware code was released at a higher rate with increasing complexity. Two high-profile ransomware incidents brought cybersecurity to the forefront of mainstream conversations as the…


Microsoft to remove WoSign and StartCom certificates in Windows 10

Microsoft has concluded that the Chinese Certificate Authorities (CAs) WoSign and StartCom have failed to maintain the standards required by our Trusted Root Program. Observed unacceptable security practices include back-dating SHA-1 certificates, mis-issuances of certificates, accidental certificate revocation, duplicate certificate serial numbers, and multiple CAB Forum Baseline Requirements (BR) violations. Thus, Microsoft will begin the…

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Links in phishing-like emails lead to tech support scam

Tech support scams continue to evolve, with scammers exploring more ways to reach potential victims. Recently, we have observed spam campaigns distributing links that lead to tech support scam websites. Anti-spam filters in Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) for Office 365 and in Outlook.com blocked the said emails because they bore characteristics of phishing emails….

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