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Microsoft has released the fourth edition of their threat intelligence report titled Cyber Signals. The report highlights a surge in cybercriminal activity around business email compromise. Microsoft has observed a 38% increase in cybercrime as a service (CaaC) targeting business email between 2019 and 2022. The FBI has reported over 21,000 complaints with adjusted losses over $2.7 billion. Between April 2022 and April 2023, Microsoft Threat Intelligence detected and investigated 35 million BEC attempts, which is an average of 156,000 daily attempts. Instead of exploiting vulnerabilities in unpatched devices, BEC operators use contrived deadlines and urgency to spur recipients who may be distracted or accustomed to these types of urgent requests. Recommendations to combat BEC include security awareness to train employees to spot warning signs. And also using a DMARC policy of reject. DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance and it provides the strongest protection against spoofed email, ensuring that unauthenticated messages are rejected at the mail server, before delivery.

Additionally, DMARC reports provide a mechanism for an organization to be made aware of the source of an apparent forgery, information that they would not normally receive.

This segment was created for the It’s 5:05 podcast