Beware Of This Windows 7 End-of-Support Phishing Campaign

As Windows 7 reached end of support, users hurried to upgrade to Windows 10 that was already around for years. Even today, many organizations still haven’t completely upgraded to the newer Windows.  A new phishing campaign is in the wild that fools users with Windows 7 end-of-support and the subsequent upgrade.

Windows 7 End-of-Support Phishing

Team Cofense has found another phishing campaign exploiting Windows 7 end-of-support. This campaign predominantly aims at businesses, creating a sense of panic among users for an upgrade.

As described in their blog post, the phishing email offers various benefits of letting them do the upgrade for the recipient. This even includes COVID-19 symptom tracker for the employees – clearly aimed at businesses that have just begun reopening after enduring the lockdown.

To further give a personalized touch to these emails, the email subject line begins with “RE:”. This would make the recipient believe that the email is part of a previous communication thread.

Plus, the email also includes a table with some made-up laptop serial numbers, supposing that the recipient won’t know (or remember or check) the serial number of the device.

Windows 7 End-of-Support Phishing

The email includes the phishing link embedded in a “Windows 10 Upgrade Project Site” link. The start of the phishing URL is masked by “urldefense.proofpoint.com” to trick the recipient in case the individual hovers the mouse on the link. Most average users are not vigilant enough to go through the whole embedded link to verify.

Clicking on the link would land the user on the phishing page. The URL here looks legit as it even bears an https status. However, the page layout that mimics Outlook Web App (OWA) login page is very poor.

Windows 7 End-of-Support Phishing


Still, if a user believes this page as legit, the attackers would easily receive the users’ credentials.

Proceeding further would redirect the user to the legit Microsoft’s Windows 7 end-of-support page. Hence, the victim won’t sense the phishing attack despite not receiving any software upgrade.

Upgrade And Stay Safe

Despite reaching the end-of-life in January 2020, unfortunately, many businesses have still not got rid of the old software.

While they are careful about the security of systems handling sensitive data, little do the firms realize that every system connected to their corporate network is equally important. It needs similar attention whether it belongs to the CISO, the IT personnel, or the junior employees. A single phishing attempt at the lowest level will cause severe damages.

Thus, to repel such phishing attempts or large-scale cyberattacks, all businesses need to upgrade their systems.

At first, for Windows users, make sure to remove Windows 7 from every computer and install Windows 10.

Secondly, train the employees to keep their systems up-to-date even without the instructions from the IT department. When every employee is aware of the cyber threats, the chances of attacks at the organizations automatically alleviate.
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