Microsoft's recent blog post raised eyebrows through the cybersecurity community. State-backed hackers linked to Russia, known as APT29 or Cozy Bear, have executed “highly targeted” phishing attacks through Microsoft's Teams platform. These are the same hackers behind the historic SolarWinds hack in 2020 and the 2016 breach of the Democratic National Committee.
The method was both sophisticated and alarmingly simple. By compromising Microsoft 365 accounts owned by small businesses, the hackers created domains to deceive their targets through Microsoft Teams messages. They engaged users and elicited approval of MFA prompts, bypassing what is usually considered a robust security measure.
This incident raises a critical question: Is your business next? Here's what you need to know to protect your organization:
- Understand the Threat: Recognize that even platforms like Microsoft Teams can be exploited. Stay informed about the latest threats and how they might affect your business.
- Educate and Train Your Team: Regular security awareness training empowers your employees to recognize and respond to phishing attempts and other threats.
- Implement Wall-to-Wall MFA: While MFA is essential, it's not infallible. There are many ways to hack MFA. Make sure to patch your systems regularly and use phishing-resistant MFA technology like FIDO.
- Regularly Monitor and Assess: Continuously monitor your systems for unusual activities and conduct regular security assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities.
The Russian hackers' breach of government agencies is a reminder that cyber threats are constantly evolving. No organization is immune, and complacency can lead to devastating consequences.
At KnowBe4, we believe that a proactive, informed approach to cybersecurity is your strongest defense. By understanding the threats, educating your team, implementing robust security measures, and collaborating with experts, you can protect your organization against even the most sophisticated attackers. Stay vigilant, and remember your security is only as strong as your weakest link.