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Microsoft Secure
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Tackling phishing with signal-sharing and machine learning

Across services in Microsoft Threat Protection, the correlation of security signals enhances the comprehensive and integrated security for identities, endpoints, user data, cloud apps, and infrastructure. Our industry-leading visibility into the entire attack chain translates to enriched protection that’s evident in many different attack scenarios, including flashy cyberattacks, massive malware campaigns, and even small-scale, localized...

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Analysis of cyberattack on U.S. think tanks, non-profits, public sector by unidentified attackers

Reuters recently reported a hacking campaign focused on a wide range of targets across the globe. In the days leading to the Reuters publication, Microsoft researchers were closely tracking the same campaign. Our sensors revealed that the campaign primarily targeted public sector institutions and non-governmental organizations like think tanks and research centers, but also included...

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Windows Defender ATP device risk score exposes new cyberattack, drives Conditional access to protect networks

Several weeks ago, the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Windows Defender ATP) team uncovered a new cyberattack that targeted several high-profile organizations in the energy and food and beverage sectors in Asia. Given the target region and verticals, the attack chain, and the toolsets used, we believe the threat actor that the industry refers to...

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Attack uses malicious InPage document and outdated VLC media player to give attackers backdoor access to targets

Our analysis of a targeted attack that used a language-specific word processor shows why it’s important to understand and protect against small-scale and localized attacks as well as broad-scale malware campaigns. The attack exploited a vulnerability in InPage, a word processor software for specific languages like Urdu, Persian, Pashto, and Arabic. More than 75% of...

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Office VBA + AMSI: Parting the veil on malicious macros

As part of our continued efforts to tackle entire classes of threats, Office 365 client applications now integrate with Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI), enabling antivirus and other security solutions to scan macros and other scripts at runtime to check for malicious behavior. Macro-based threats have always been a prevalent entry point for malware, but we...

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Hawkeye Keylogger – Reborn v8: An in-depth campaign analysis

Much of cybercrime today is fueled by underground markets where malware and cybercriminal services are available for purchase. These markets in the deep web commoditize malware operations. Even novice cybercriminals can buy malware toolkits and other services they might need for malware campaigns: encryption, hosting, antimalware evasion, spamming, and many others. Hawkeye Keylogger is an...

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Enhancing Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection with detonation-based heuristics and machine learning

Email, coupled with reliable social engineering techniques, continues to be one of the primary entry points for credential phishing, targeted attacks, and commodity malware like ransomware and, increasingly in the last few months, cryptocurrency miners. Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) uses a comprehensive and multi-layered solution to protect mailboxes, files, online storage, and applications...

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FinFisher exposed: A researcher’s tale of defeating traps, tricks, and complex virtual machines

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (Office 365 ATP) blocked many notable zero-day exploits in 2017. In our analysis, one activity group stood out: NEODYMIUM. This threat actor is remarkable for two reasons: Its access to sophisticated zero-day exploits for Microsoft and Adobe software Its use of an advanced piece of government-grade surveillance spyware FinFisher, also...

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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...

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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....

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