Avoid having your account stolen via fake "SharePoint Editor" emails

Also Known As: "SharePoint Editor" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "SharePoint Editor"?

Our inspection of this "SharePoint Editor" email made it evident that it is spam. It makes false claims regarding the recipient being added as an editor to a work project on SharePoint. Accessing this nonexistent content supposedly requires signing in with the recipient's email log-in credentials. The promoted phishing site records this information, thus allowing scammers to access the exposed accounts.

SharePoint Editor email spam campaign

"SharePoint Editor" email scam overview

This spam email states that the "Project Team Manager" has added the recipient as an editor to a work project on SharePoint. They are instructed to sign in with their email account log-in credentials to access the project.

It must be stressed that this letter is fake, and it is not associated with SharePoint or its developer – Microsoft.

As indicated by the spam email itself, the endorsed phishing site targets email account log-in credentials. Naturally, the passwords acquired through this fraudulent webpage allow scammers to steal the exposed emails.

However, the threat is greater since emails are used to register other accounts and platforms, which might get hijacked by the cyber criminals as well.

To expand some on the possible misuse, scammers can steal social account owners' identities (e.g., emails, social media, social networking, messengers, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, endorse scams, and spread malware by sharing malicious files/links.

Stolen finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, money transferring, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions or online purchases. Compromised work-related accounts can enable criminals to obtain confidential corporate information or even serve as access points to the company's networks.

In summary, by trusting an email like "SharePoint Editor" – users can experience serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have entered your log-in credentials to a phishing page – immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support.

Threat Summary:
Name "SharePoint Editor" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient has been added as an editor to a project.
Disguise SharePoint
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Phishing spam campaign examples

"Authentication Request", "DocuSign - Completed Document", "Discover Card - Unsuccessful Log-on Attempts Detected", and "Signed PO (Purchase Order)" are merely some examples of phishing emails we have investigated recently.

These letters are used to promote various scams, such as sextortion, tech support, refund, inheritance, lottery, etc. Spam mail is also used to distribute malware through malicious attachments/links.

Due to how prevalent these emails are and how well-made they can be – we highly recommend exercising caution with incoming messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Cyber criminals commonly use spam campaigns to proliferate malware. These emails/messages can include infectious files as attachments or download links. The files come in various formats, e.g., archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), JavaScript, and so on.

Once opened, a virulent file initiates the system infection chain. However, some formats can require additional user interaction. For example, Microsoft Office files need users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents require them to click on embedded links or files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is paramount to treat incoming emails and other messages with caution. Attachments or links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be infectious.

Keep in mind that malware is not proliferated exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, we also advise vigilance when browsing, as fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears genuine and innocuous.

Another recommendation is to download only from official and trustworthy channels. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by legitimate developers, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updates can contain malware.

We must emphasize that having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated is essential to device/user safety. This software must be used to perform regular systems scans and to remove threats and issues. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "SharePoint Editor" spam email letter:

Subject: You were added to ******** group folder

******** Project Team Manager added you as an editor

To securely start contributing to this folder, You need to Verify Your email ******** to gain access to this item after logging in.

******** Group

New Project Feb 2024
Correspondents: 6 members

Open Project

Collaborate every step of the way Keep your tasks organized
Keep your team on track by assigning tasks, adding group members, and checking your Project’s progress. View your tasks as an actionable list to maintain a high-level overview of your Project.

Notification settings: Go to Project, select the Gear icon, then select Notifications.

Privacy Statement

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "SharePoint Editor" spam campaign:

SharePoint Editor scam email promoted phishing site

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Spam emails are not personal, even if they include details relevant to the recipients. This data is typically obtained through publicly available sources. Cyber criminals tend to distribute spam mail in massive operations – hence, thousands of users receive identical (or incredibly similar) messages.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?

If you have disclosed your account credentials – immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support. However, if the provided information was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, passport scans, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact the appropriate authorities without delay.

I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened; reading an email poses no infection threat.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?

If the opened file was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – the system was infected. However, you might have avoided triggering the infection process if it was a document (.doc, .pdf, .xls, etc.). These formats may need extra actions (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded files/links, etc.) to begin downloading/installing malware.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan devices and remove all kinds of threats. It is capable of eliminating nearly all known malware infections. Remember that high-end malicious software typically hides deep within systems – therefore, running a full system scan is crucial.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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