A phishing technique that makes use of Microsoft Sway could attack organizations even if they don’t use the tool, security researchers warn.

Cybercriminals are able to create landing pages that look like legitimate online content and dupe victims into clicking on a malicious URL by hosting them on sway.office.com, according to a post from Avanan.

Given that URL filters tend to trust this domain, the bogus landing pages may go undetected, and they can use Office 365 styling and menus to appear more genuine. Best known as a tool for creating a variety of digital content with a shareable link, Microsoft Sway is available on the Windows 10 app as well as online.

Beware of Urgent Fax and Voicemail Notifications

Researchers said some of the phishing pages include well-known Microsoft product logos, including SharePoint, as well as those from real fax service providers. The latter is important because some of the common tactics to create a sense of urgency around clicking the link for these phishing campaigns include sending messages that a fax or voicemail has been received.

The report showed one instance, for example, where attackers added a timestamp next to a “Fax Received” email message that came from an email address that ended with onmicrosoft.com. The bogus fax, meanwhile, was offered via a link using the sway.office.com domain.

While best practices to combat phishing attacks often include blacklisting worrisome domains, researchers said this probably wouldn’t work in this case since attackers may use several different domains and senders. It may also be unfeasible for those organizations that regularly use Microsoft Sway to block content that use its domain.

This isn’t the first time Sway has been identified as a tool for conducting phishing attacks; Forcepoint researchers published similar findings as far back as October 2018.

Reduce the Risks of Microsoft Sway Phishing Attacks

Microsoft provides an online form where those who come across phishing schemes can send samples for deeper analysis. Beyond that, test phishing engagements will ensure employees are properly trained and acting appropriately to prevent clicking on malicious links by accident or mistake.

Given the risk, however, implementing a model of least privilege will ensure that if someone does manage to use Microsoft Sway to dupe someone, the attackers won’t be able to access an organization’s most critical resources or data.

More from

Beyond Requirements: Tapping the Business Potential of Data Governance and Security

3 min read - Doom and gloom. Fear, uncertainty and doubt. The "stick" versus the "carrot". What do these concepts have in common? They have often provided the primary motivation for organizations’ data governance and security strategies. For the enterprise, this mindset has perpetuated the idea that data governance, data security and data privacy are reactive cost centers existing due to externally imposed requirements or mandates.Yet, what if data governance and security practices could upend the prevailing paradigm and demonstrate direct business value?[button link="https://community.ibm.com/community/user/security/events/event-description?CalendarEventKey=8d7fdc61-97bf-43b0-b7d6-018756e436a6&CommunityKey=aa1a6549-4b51-421a-9c67-6dd41e65ef85&Home=%2fcommunity%2fuser%2fsecurity%2fcommunities%2fcommunity-home%2frecent-community-events"…

3 min read

Protecting Against Remote Monitoring and Management Phishing

3 min read - You use remote monitoring and management (RMM) software to closely monitor your cyber environment and keep your organization safe. But now cyber criminals are specifically targeting these tools, causing legitimate software to become a vulnerability. This is the latest type of attack in an increase in a recent trend of disruptive software supply chain attacks. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently released an alert about the malicious use of legitimate remote monitoring and management (RMM) software. Last fall,…

3 min read

Secure-by-Design: Which Comes First, Code or Security?

4 min read - For years, developers and IT security teams have been at loggerheads. While developers feel security slows progress, security teams assert that developers sacrifice security priorities in their quest to accelerate production. This disconnect results in flawed software that is vulnerable to attack. While advocates for speed and security clash, consumers must often pay the price when threat actors strike. 48% of developers admitted they were still shipping code with vulnerabilities in 2022. It’s clearly time for a change. Many believe…

4 min read

ITG10 Likely Targeting South Korean Entities of Interest to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

7 min read - In late April 2023, IBM Security X-Force uncovered documents that are most likely part of a phishing campaign mimicking credible senders, orchestrated by a group X-Force refers to as ITG10, and aimed at delivering RokRAT malware, similar to what has been observed by others. ITG10's tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) overlap with APT37 and ScarCruft. The initial delivery method is conducted via a LNK file, which drops two Windows shortcut files containing obfuscated PowerShell scripts in charge of downloading a…

7 min read