Inside the SOC

Detecting and Responding to Vendor Email Compromises (VEC)

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Jul 2023
Jul 2023
Learn how Darktrace detected and responded to a March 2023 Vendor Email Compromise (VEC) attacks on customer in the energy industry. Read more here!

Threat Trends: Email Landscape

As organizations and security teams around the world continue to improve their cyber hygiene and strengthen the defenses of their digital environments, threat actors are being forced to adapt and employ more advanced, sophisticated attack methods to achieve their goals.

Vendor Email Compromise (VEC) is one such elaborate and sophisticated type of Business Email Compromise (BEC) attack which exploits pre-existing trusted business relationships to impersonate vendors, with the goal of launching a targeted attack on the vendor’s customers [1].  

In March 2023, Darktrace/Email™ detected an example of a VEC attack on the network of a customer in the energy sector. Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI worked to successfully neutralize the VEC attack before it was able to take hold, by blocking the malicious emails so that they did not reach the inboxes of the intended recipients.

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

BEC is the practice of using deceitful emails to trick an organization into transferring funds or divulging sensitive information to a malicious actor. BEC attacks can have devastating financial consequences for organizations, with the FBI reporting a total of USD 2.7 billion in losses from BEC attacks in 2022 [2].  Along with ransomware attacks, BEC attacks are one of the greatest cyber threats facing organizations.

Vendor Email Compromise (VEC)

VEC represents a “new milestone in the evolution of BEC attacks” having taken BEC attacks “to a whole new level of sophistication” [3]. Traditional BEC attacks involve the impersonation of an upper or middle-management employee by a cybercriminal, who attempts to trick a senior executive or employee with access to the company’s finances into transferring funds [4]. Thus, they are crafted to target a specific individual within an organization.

On the other hand, VEC attack campaigns take this attack style even further as they tend to require a greater understanding of existing vendor-customer business relationships. A cyber-criminal gains access to a legitimate vendor account, the process of which may take months to design and fully implement, and uses the account to spread malicious emails to the vendor’s customers. VEC attacks are complex and difficult to detect, however they share some common features [1,3]:

1. Reconnaissance on the vendor and their customer base – the threat actor conducts in-depth research in an attempt to be as convincing as possible in their impersonation efforts. This process may take weeks or months to complete.

2. Credential stealing through phishing campaigns – the threat actor tricks the vendor’s employees into revealing confidential data or corporate credentials in order to gain access to one of the email accounts belonging to the vendor.

3. Account takeover - once the attacker has gained access to one of the vendor’s email accounts, they will create mailbox rules which forward emails meeting certain conditions (such as having ‘Invoice’ in their subject line) to the threat actor’s inbox. This is typically a lengthy process and requires the malicious actors to harvest as much sensitive information as they need in order to successfully masquerade as vendor employees.

4. Deceitful emails are sent to the vendor’s customers – the attacker crafts and sends a highly sophisticated and difficult to detect email campaign to targeted individuals amongst the vendor’s customers. These emails, which may be embedded into existing email threads, will typically contain instructions on how to wire money to the bank account of an attacker.

There have been many high-profile cases of BEC attacks over the years, one of the most famous being the vendor-impersonating BEC attacks carried out between 2013 and 2015 [5]. This BEC campaign resulted in victim companies transferring a total of USD 120 million to bank accounts under the attacker’s control. As the threat of BEC, and in particular VEC, attacks continue to rise, so too does the importance of being able to detect and respond to them.

Observed VEC Attack  

In March 2023, Darktrace/Email observed a VEC attack on an energy company. Email communication between this customer and one of their third-party vendors was common and took place as part of expected business activity, earning previous emails tags such as “Known Domain Relationship”, “Known Correspondent”, and “Established Domain Relationship”. These tags identify the sender relationship as trusted, causing Darktrace’s AI to typically attribute an anomaly score of 0% to emails from this third-party sender.

Just fifty minutes after the above legitimate email was observed, a group of suspicious emails were sent from the same domain, indicating that the trusted third-party had been compromised. Darktrace’s AI picked up on the peculiarity of these emails straight away, detecting elements of the mails which were out of character compared to the sender’s usual pattern of life, and as a result attributing these emails a 100% anomaly score despite the trusted relationship between the customer and sender domain. These suspicious emails were part of a targeted phishing attack, sent to high value individuals such as the company’s CTO and various company directors.  

Figure 1: Darktrace/Email's interface highlighting tags indicating the trusted relationship between the third-party domain and the customer.

Using methods outside of Darktrace’s visibility, a malicious actor managed to hijack the corporate account of a senior employee of this vendor company. The actor abused this email account to send deceitful emails to multiple employees at the energy company, including senior executives.

Figure 2: This screenshot shows Darktrace/Email’s assessment of emails from the vendor account pre-compromise and post-compromise.

Each of the emails sent by the attacker contained a link to a malicious file hosted inside a SharePoint repository associated with a university that had no association with the energy company. The malicious actor therefore appears to have leveraged a previously hijacked SharePoint repository to host their payload.

Cyber-criminals frequently use legitimate file storage domains to host malicious payloads as traditional gateways often fail to defend against them using reputation checks. The SharePoint file which the attacker sought to distribute to employees of the energy company likely provided wire transfer or bank account update instructions. If the attacker had succeeded in delivering these emails to these employees’ mailboxes, then the employees may have been tricked into performing actions resulting in the transfer of funds to a malicious actor. However, the attacker’s attempts to deliver these emails were thwarted by Darktrace/Email.

Darktrace のカバレッジ

Despite the malicious actor sending their deceitful emails from a trusted vendor account, a range of anomalies were detected by Darktrace’s AI, causing the malicious emails to be given a 100% anomaly score and thus held from their recipients’ mailboxes. Such abnormalities, which represented a deviation in normal behavior, included:

  • The presence of an unexpected, out of character file storage link (known to be used for hosting malicious content)
  • The geographical source of the email
  • The anomalous linguistic structure and content of the email body, which earned the emails a high inducement score
Figure 3: Darktrace/Email’s overview of one of the malicious VEC emails it observed.

Darktrace has a series of models designed to trigger when anomalous features, such as those described above, are detected. The emails which made up this particular VEC attack breached a number of notable Darktrace/Email models. The presence of the suspicious link in the emails caused multiple link-related models to breach, which in turn elicited Darktrace RESPOND™ to perform its ‘double lock link’ action – an action which ensures that a user who has clicked on it cannot follow it to its original source. Models which breached due to the suspicious SharePoint link include:

Link / Link To File Storage

  • Link / Low Link Association
  • Link / New Unknown Link
  • Link / Outlook Hijack
  • Link / Relative Sender Anomaly + New Unknown Link
  • Link / Unknown Storage Service
  • Link / Visually Prominent Link Unexpected for Sender
  • Unusual / Unusual Login Location + Unknown Link

The out-of-character and suspicious linguistic aspects of the emails caused the following Darktrace/Email models to breach:

  • High Anomaly Sender
  • Proximity / Phishing
  • Proximity / Phishing and New Activity
  • Unusual / Inducement Shift High
  • Unusual / Undisclosed Recipients
  • Unusual / Unusual Login Location
  • Unusual / Off Topic

Due to the combination of suspicious features that were detected, tags such as ‘Phishing Link’ and ‘Out of Character’ were also added to these emails by Darktrace/Email. Darktrace’s coverage of these emails’ anomalous features ultimately led Darktrace RESPOND to perform its most severe inhibitive action, ‘hold message’. Applying this action stopped the emails from entering their recipients’ mailboxes. By detecting deviations from the sender’s normal email behavior, Darktrace/Email was able to completely neutralize the emails, and prevent them from potentially leading to significant financial harm.


Despite bypassing the customer’s other security measures, Darktrace/Email successfully identified and held these malicious emails, blocking them from reaching the inboxes of the intended recipients and thus preventing a successful targeted VEC attack. The elaborate and sophisticated nature of VEC attacks makes them particularly perilous to customers, and they can be hard to detect due to their exploitation of trusted relationships, and in this case, their use of legitimate services to host malicious files.

Darktrace’s anomaly-based approach to threat detection means it is uniquely placed to identify deviations in common email behavior, while its autonomous response capabilities allow it to take preventative action against emerging threats without latency.

Credits to: Sam Lister, Senior Analyst, for his contributions to this blog.



Tactic - Techniques


  • T1586.002 – Compromise Accounts: Email Accounts
  • T1584.006 – Compromise Infrastructure: Web Services
  • T1608.005 – Stage Capabilities: Link Target


  • T1195 – Supply Chain Compromise
  • T1566.002 – Phishing : Spearphishing Link







Darktrace cyber analysts are world-class experts in threat intelligence, threat hunting and incident response, and provide 24/7 SOC support to thousands of Darktrace customers around the globe. Inside the SOC is exclusively authored by these experts, providing analysis of cyber incidents and threat trends, based on real-world experience in the field.
Tiana Kelly
Deputy Team Lead, London & Cyber Analyst
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Inside the SOC

Stemming the Citrix Bleed Vulnerability with Darktrace’s ActiveAI Platform

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May 2024

What is Citrix Bleed?

Since August 2023, cyber threat actors have been actively exploiting one of the most significant critical vulnerabilities disclosed in recent years: Citrix Bleed. Citrix Bleed, also known as CVE-2023-4966, remained undiscovered and even unpatched for several months, resulting in a wide range of security incidents across business and government sectors [1].

How does Citrix Bleed vulnerability work?

The vulnerability, which impacts the Citrix Netscaler Gateway and Netscaler ADC products, allows for outside parties to hijack legitimate user sessions, thereby bypassing password and multifactor authentication (MFA) requirements.

When used as a means of initial network access, the vulnerability has resulted in the exfiltration of sensitive data, as in the case of Xfinity, and even the deployment of ransomware variants including Lockbit [2]. Although Citrix has released a patch to address the vulnerability, slow patching procedures and the widespread use of these products has resulted in the continuing exploitation of Citrix Bleed into 2024 [3].

How Does Darktrace Handle Citrix Bleed?

Darktrace has demonstrated its proficiency in handling the exploitation of Citrix Bleed since it was disclosed back in 2023; its anomaly-based approach allows it to efficiently identify and inhibit post-exploitation activity as soon as it surfaces.  Rather than relying upon traditional rules and signatures, Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI enables it to understand the subtle deviations in a device’s behavior that would indicate an emerging compromise, thus allowing it to detect anomalous activity related to the exploitation of Citrix Bleed.

In late 2023, Darktrace identified an instance of Citrix Bleed exploitation on a customer network. As this customer had subscribed to the Proactive Threat Notification (PTN) service, the suspicious network activity surrounding the compromise was escalated to Darktrace’s Security Operation Center (SOC) for triage and investigation by Darktrace Analysts, who then alerted the customer’s security team to the incident.

Darktrace’s Coverage

Initial Access and Beaconing of Citrix Bleed

Darktrace’s initial detection of indicators of compromise (IoCs) associated with the exploitation of Citrix Bleed actually came a few days prior to the SOC alert, with unusual external connectivity observed from a critical server. The suspicious connection in question, a SSH connection to the rare external IP 168.100.9[.]137, lasted several hours and utilized the Windows PuTTY client. Darktrace also identified an additional suspicious IP, namely 45.134.26[.]2, attempting to contact the server. Both rare endpoints had been linked with the exploitation of the Citrix Bleed vulnerability by multiple open-source intelligence (OSINT) vendors [4] [5].

Darktrace model alert highlighting an affected device making an unusual SSH connection to 168.100.9[.]137 via port 22.
Figure 1: Darktrace model alert highlighting an affected device making an unusual SSH connection to 168.100.9[.]137 via port 22.

As Darktrace is designed to identify network-level anomalies, rather than monitor edge infrastructure, the initial exploitation via the typical HTTP buffer overflow associated with this vulnerability fell outside the scope of Darktrace’s visibility. However, the aforementioned suspicious connectivity likely constituted initial access and beaconing activity following the successful exploitation of Citrix Bleed.

Command and Control (C2) and Payload Download

Around the same time, Darktrace also detected other devices on the customer’s network conducting external connectivity to various endpoints associated with remote management and IT services, including Action1, ScreenConnect and Fixme IT. Additionally, Darktrace observed devices downloading suspicious executable files, including “tniwinagent.exe”, which is associated with the tool Total Network Inventory. While this tool is typically used for auditing and inventory management purposes, it could also be leveraged by attackers for the purpose of lateral movement.


In the days surrounding this compromise, Darktrace observed multiple devices engaging in potential defense evasion tactics using the ScreenConnect and Fixme IT services. Although ScreenConnect is a legitimate remote management tool, it has also been used by threat actors to carry out C2 communication [6]. ScreenConnect itself was the subject of a separate critical vulnerability which Darktrace investigated in early 2024. Meanwhile, CISA observed that domains associated with Fixme It (“fixme[.]it”) have been used by threat actors attempting to exploit the Citrix Bleed vulnerability [7].

Reconnaissance and Lateral Movement

A few days after the detection of the initial beaconing communication, Darktrace identified several devices on the customer’s network carrying out reconnaissance and lateral movement activity. This included SMB writes of “PSEXESVC.exe”, network scanning, DCE-RPC binds of numerous internal devices to IPC$ shares and the transfer of compromise-related tools. It was at this point that Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI deemed the activity to be likely indicative of an ongoing compromise and several Enhanced Monitoring models alerted, triggering the aforementioned PTNs and investigation by Darktrace’s SOC.

Darktrace observed a server on the network initiating a wide range of connections to more than 600 internal IPs across several critical ports, suggesting port scanning, as well as conducting unexpected DCE-RPC service control (svcctl) activity on multiple internal devices, amongst them domain controllers. Additionally, several binds to server service (srvsvc) and security account manager (samr) endpoints via IPC$ shares on destination devices were detected, indicating further reconnaissance activity. The querying of these endpoints was also observed through RPC commands to enumerate services running on the device, as well as Security Account Manager (SAM) accounts.  

Darktrace also identified devices performing SMB writes of the WinRAR data compression tool, in what likely represented preparation for the compression of data prior to data exfiltration. Further SMB file writes were observed around this time including PSEXESVC.exe, which was ultimately used by attackers to conduct remote code execution, and one device was observed making widespread failed NTLM authentication attempts on the network, indicating NTLM brute-forcing. Darktrace observed several devices using administrative credentials to carry out the above activity.

In addition to the transfer of tools and executables via SMB, Darktrace also identified numerous devices deleting files through SMB around this time. In one example, an MSI file associated with the patch management and remediation service, Action1, was deleted by an attacker. This legitimate security tool, if leveraged by attackers, could be used to uncover additional vulnerabilities on target networks.

A server on the customer’s network was also observed writing the file “m.exe” to multiple internal devices. OSINT investigation into the executable indicated that it could be a malicious tool used to prevent antivirus programs from launching or running on a network [8].

Impact and Data Exfiltration

Following the initial steps of the breach chain, Darktrace observed numerous devices on the customer’s network engaging in data exfiltration and impact events, resulting in additional PTN alerts and a SOC investigation into data egress. Specifically, two servers on the network proceeded to read and download large volumes of data via SMB from multiple internal devices over the course of a few hours. These hosts sent large outbound volumes of data to MEGA file storage sites using TLS/SSL over port 443. Darktrace also identified the use of additional file storage services during this exfiltration event, including 4sync, file[.]io, and easyupload[.]io. In total the threat actor exfiltrated over 8.5 GB of data from the customer’s network.

Darktrace Cyber AI Analyst investigation highlighting the details of a data exfiltration attempt.
Figure 2: Darktrace Cyber AI Analyst investigation highlighting the details of a data exfiltration attempt.

Finally, Darktrace detected a user account within the customer’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environment conducting several suspicious Office365 and AzureAD actions from a rare IP for the network, including uncommon file reads, creations and the deletion of a large number of files.

Unfortunately for the customer in this case, Darktrace RESPOND™ was not enabled on the network and the post-exploitation activity was able to progress until the customer was made aware of the attack by Darktrace’s SOC team. Had RESPOND been active and configured in autonomous response mode at the time of the attack, it would have been able to promptly contain the post-exploitation activity by blocking external connections, shutting down any C2 activity and preventing the download of suspicious files, blocking incoming traffic, and enforcing a learned ‘pattern of life’ on offending devices.


Given the widespread use of Netscaler Gateway and Netscaler ADC, Citrix Bleed remains an impactful and potentially disruptive vulnerability that will likely continue to affect organizations who fail to address affected assets. In this instance, Darktrace demonstrated its ability to track and inhibit malicious activity stemming from Citrix Bleed exploitation, enabling the customer to identify affected devices and enact their own remediation.

Darktrace’s anomaly-based approach to threat detection allows it to identify such post-exploitation activity resulting from the exploitation of a vulnerability, regardless of whether it is a known CVE or a zero-day threat. Unlike traditional security tools that rely on existing threat intelligence and rules and signatures, Darktrace’s ability to identify the subtle deviations in a compromised device’s behavior gives it a unique advantage when it comes to identifying emerging threats.

Credit to Vivek Rajan, Cyber Analyst, Adam Potter, Cyber Analyst


Darktrace モデルカバレッジ

Device / Suspicious SMB Scanning Activity

Device / ICMP Address Scan

Device / Possible SMB/NTLM Reconnaissance

Device / Network Scan

Device / SMB Lateral Movement

Device / Possible SMB/NTLM Brute Force

Device / Suspicious Network Scan Activity

User / New Admin Credentials on Server

Anomalous File / Internal::Unusual Internal EXE File Transfer

Compliance / SMB Drive Write

Device / New or Unusual Remote Command Execution

Anomalous Connection / New or Uncommon Service Control

Anomalous Connection / Rare WinRM Incoming

Anomalous Connection / Unusual Admin SMB Session

Device / Unauthorised Device

User / New Admin Credentials on Server

Anomalous Server Activity / Outgoing from Server

Device / Long Agent Connection to New Endpoint

Anomalous Connection / Multiple Connections to New External TCP Port

Device / New or Uncommon SMB Named Pipe

Device / Multiple Lateral Movement Model Breaches

Device / Large Number of Model Breaches

Compliance / Remote Management Tool On Server

Device / Anomalous RDP Followed By Multiple Model Breaches

Device / SMB Session Brute Force (Admin)

Device / New User Agent

Compromise / Large Number of Suspicious Failed Connections

Unusual Activity / Unusual External Data Transfer

Unusual Activity / Enhanced Unusual External Data Transfer

Device / Increased External Connectivity

Unusual Activity / Unusual External Data to New Endpoints

Anomalous Connection / Data Sent to Rare Domain

Anomalous Connection / Uncommon 1 GiB Outbound

Anomalous Connection / Active Remote Desktop Tunnel

Anomalous Server Activity / Anomalous External Activity from Critical Network Device

Compliance / Possible Unencrypted Password File On Server

Anomalous Connection / Suspicious Read Write Ratio and Rare External

Device / Reverse DNS Sweep]

Unusual Activity / Possible RPC Recon Activity

Anomalous File / Internal::Executable Uploaded to DC

Compliance / SMB Version 1 Usage

Darktrace AI Analyst Incidents

Scanning of Multiple Devices

Suspicious Remote Service Control Activity

SMB Writes of Suspicious Files to Multiple Devices

Possible SSL Command and Control to Multiple Devices

Extensive Suspicious DCE-RPC Activity

Suspicious DCE-RPC Activity

Internal Downloads and External Uploads

Unusual External Data Transfer

Unusual External Data Transfer to Multiple Related Endpoints


Technique – Tactic – ID – Sub technique of

Network Scanning – Reconnaissance - T1595 - T1595.002

Valid Accounts – Defense Evasion, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, Initial Access – T1078 – N/A

Remote Access Software – Command and Control – T1219 – N/A

Lateral Tool Transfer – Lateral Movement – T1570 – N/A

Data Transfers – Exfiltration – T1567 – T1567.002

Compressed Data – Exfiltration – T1030 – N/A

NTLM Brute Force – Brute Force – T1110 - T1110.001

AntiVirus Deflection – T1553 - NA

Ingress Tool Transfer   - COMMAND AND CONTROL - T1105 - NA

Indicators of Compromise (IoCs)

204.155.149[.]37 – IP – Possible Malicious Endpoint

199.80.53[.]177 – IP – Possible Malicious Endpoint

168.100.9[.]137 – IP – Malicious Endpoint

45.134.26[.]2 – IP – Malicious Endpoint

13.35.147[.]18 – IP – Likely Malicious Endpoint

13.248.193[.]251 – IP – Possible Malicious Endpoint

76.223.1[.]166 – IP – Possible Malicious Endpoint

179.60.147[.]10 – IP – Likely Malicious Endpoint

185.220.101[.]25 – IP – Likely Malicious Endpoint

141.255.167[.]250 – IP – Malicious Endpoint

106.71.177[.]68 – IP – Possible Malicious Endpoint

cat2.hbwrapper[.]com – Hostname – Likely Malicious Endpoint

aj1090[.]online – Hostname – Likely Malicious Endpoint

dc535[.]4sync[.]com – Hostname – Likely Malicious Endpoint

204.155.149[.]140 – IP - Likely Malicious Endpoint

204.155.149[.]132 – IP - Likely Malicious Endpoint

204.155.145[.]52 – IP - Likely Malicious Endpoint

204.155.145[.]49 – IP - Likely Malicious Endpoint


Vivek Rajan
Cyber Analyst



How to Protect your Organization Against Microsoft Teams Phishing Attacks

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May 2024

The problem: Microsoft Teams phishing attacks are on the rise

Around 83% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Office products and services1, with Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint in particular emerging as critical platforms to the business operations of the everyday workplace. Researchers across the threat landscape have begun to observe these legitimate services being leveraged more and more by malicious actors as an initial access method.

As Teams becomes a more prominent feature of the workplace many employees rely on it for daily internal and external communication, even surpassing email usage in some organizations. As Microsoft2 states, "Teams changes your relationship with email. When your whole group is working in Teams, it means you'll all get fewer emails. And you'll spend less time in your inbox, because you'll use Teams for more of your conversations."

However, Teams can be exploited to send targeted phishing messages to individuals either internally or externally, while appearing legitimate and safe. Users might receive an external message request from a Teams account claiming to be an IT support service or otherwise affiliated with the organization. Once a user has accepted, the threat actor can launch a social engineering campaign or deliver a malicious payload. As a primarily internal tool there is naturally less training and security awareness around Teams – due to the nature of the channel it is assumed to be a trusted source, meaning that social engineering is already one step ahead.

Screenshot of a Microsoft Teams message request from a Midnight Blizzard-controlled account (courtesy of Microsoft)
Figure 1: Screenshot of a Microsoft Teams message request from a Midnight Blizzard-controlled account (courtesy of Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams Phishing Examples

Microsoft has identified several major phishing attacks using Teams within the past year.

In July 2023, Microsoft announced that the threat actor known as Midnight Blizzard – identified by the United States as a Russian state-sponsored group – had launched a series of phishing campaigns via Teams with the aim of stealing user credentials. These attacks used previously compromised Microsoft 365 accounts and set up new domain names that impersonated legitimate IT support organizations. The threat actors then used social engineering tactics to trick targeted users into sharing their credentials via Teams, enabling them to access sensitive data.  

At a similar time, threat actor Storm-0324 was observed sending phishing lures via Teams containing links to malicious SharePoint-hosted files. The group targeted organizations that allow Teams users to interact and share files externally. Storm-0324’s goal is to gain initial access to hand over to other threat actors to pursue more dangerous follow-on attacks like ransomware.

Darktrace がMicrosoft Teamsのフィッシングを阻止する方法について、さらに詳しく知りたい方は、ブログをお読みください: 餌に喰いつくな:Darktrace Microsoft Teamsのフィッシング攻撃を阻止する方法

The market: Existing Microsoft Teams security solutions are insufficient

Microsoft’s native Teams security focuses on payloads, namely links and attachments, as the principal malicious component of any phishing. These payloads are relatively straightforward to detect with their experience in anti-virus, sandboxing, and IOCs. However, this approach is unable to intervene before the stage at which payloads are delivered, before the user even gets the chance to accept or deny an external message request. At the same time, it risks missing more subtle threats that don’t include attachments or links – like early stage phishing, which is pure social engineering – or completely new payloads.

Equally, the market offering for Teams security is limited. Security solutions available on the market are always payload-focused, rather than taking into account the content and context in which a link or attachment is sent. Answering questions like:

  • Does it make sense for these two accounts to speak to each other?
  • Are there any linguistic indicators of inducement?

Furthermore, they do not correlate with email to track threats across multiple communication environments which could signal a wider campaign. Effectively, other market solutions aren’t adding extra value – they are protecting against the same types of threats that Microsoft is already covering by default.

The other aspect of Teams security that native and market solutions fail to address is the account itself. As well as focusing on Teams threats, it’s important to analyze messages to understand the normal mode of communication for a user, and spot when a user’s Teams activity might signal account takeover.

The solution: How Darktrace protects Microsoft Teams against sophisticated threats

With its biggest update to Darktrace/Email ever, Darktrace now offers support for Microsoft Teams. With that, we are bringing the same AI philosophy that protects your email and accounts to your messaging environment.  

Our Self-Learning AI looks at content and context for every communication, whether that’s sent in an email or Teams message. It looks at actual user behavior, including language patterns, relationship history of sender and recipient, tone and payloads, to understand if a message poses a threat. This approach allows Darktrace to detect threats such as social engineering and payloadless attacks using visibility and forensic capabilities that Microsoft security doesn’t currently offer, as well as early symptoms of account compromise.  

Unlike market solutions, Darktrace doesn’t offer a siloed approach to Teams security. Data and signals from Teams are shared across email to inform detection, and also with the wider Darktrace ActiveAI security platform. By correlating information from email and Teams with network and apps security, Darktrace is able to better identify suspicious Teams activity and vice versa.  

Interested in the other ways Darktrace/Email augments threat detection? Read our latest blog on how improving the quality of end-user reporting can decrease the burden on the SOC. To find our more about Darktrace's enduring partnership with Microsoft, click here.


[1] Essential Microsoft Office Statistics in 2024

[2] Microsoft blog, Microsoft Teams and email, living in harmony, 2024

Carlos Gray
Product Manager
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