New ZeroFont phishing tips Outlook into exhibiting faux AV-scans – Supply:

Hackers are using a brand new trick of utilizing zero-point fonts in emails to make malicious emails seem as safely scanned by safety instruments in Microsoft Outlook.

Though the ZeroFont phishing method has been used previously, that is the primary time it has been documented as used on this method.

In a brand new report by ISC Sans analyst Jan Kopriva, the researcher warns that this trick may make an enormous distinction within the effectiveness of phishing operations, and customers ought to pay attention to its existence and use within the wild.

ZeroFont assaults

The ZeroFont assault technique, first documented by Buildings in 2018is a phishing method that exploits flaws in how AI and pure language processing (NLP) techniques in e-mail safety platforms analyze textual content.

It includes inserting hidden phrases or characters in emails by setting the font measurement to zero, rendering the textual content invisible to human targets, but conserving it readable by NLP algorithms.

This assault goals to evade safety filters by inserting invisible benign phrases that blend with suspicious seen content material, skewing AI’s interpretation of the content material and the results of safety checks.

In its 2018 report, Avanan warned that ZeroFont bypassed Microsoft’s Workplace 365 Superior Menace Safety (ATP) even when the emails contained recognized malicious key phrases.

Hiding bogus antivirus scans

In a brand new phishing email seen by Koprivaa risk actor makes use of the ZeroFont assault to control message previews on broadly used e-mail shoppers equivalent to Microsoft Outlook.

Particularly, the e-mail in query displayed a unique message in Outlook’s e-mail listing than within the preview pane.

As you possibly can see beneath, the e-mail itemizing pane reads “Scanned and secured by Isc®Advanced Threat protection (APT): 9/22/2023T6:42 AM,” whereas the start of the e-mail within the preview/studying pane shows “Job Offer | Employment Opportunity.”

Malicious phishing message
Malicious phishing message (

This discrepancy is achieved by leveraging ZeroFont to cover the bogus safety scan message at the beginning of the phishing e-mail, so whereas it’s not seen to the recipient, Outlook nonetheless grabs it and shows it as a preview on the e-mail itemizing pane.

Zero-font attack hiding antivirus scan message
Zero-font assault hiding antivirus scan message
Supply: ISC Sans

The objective is to instill a false sense of legitimacy and safety within the recipient.

By presenting a misleading safety scan message, the chance of the goal opening the message and fascinating with its content material rises.

It’s doable that Outlook isn’t the one e-mail shopper that grabs the primary portion of an e-mail to preview a message with out checking if its font measurement is legitimate, so vigilance is suggested for customers of different software program, too.

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Date: 2023-09-26 19:46:05

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Alina A, Toronto
Alina A, Toronto
Alina A, an UofT graduate & Google Certified Cyber Security analyst, currently based in Toronto, Canada. She is passionate for Research and to write about Cyber-security related issues, trends and concerns in an emerging digital world.


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