Xero users have been advised to reset their passwords as a precaution following a small phishing attack aimed at customers of the cloud accounting company.
Emailing customers before the long weekend, the growing New Zealand firm explained that a small section of users had been sent fake emails in an attempt to trick people into revealing login details.
“We sent an email advising recipients they may need to change their Xero password,” states Duncan Ritchie, Chief Platform Officer, Xero via the company’s official blog.
“This email was originally intended for active users in Australia. However, it was distributed more widely.
“We apologise for any inconvenience or confusion, though this is a useful and timely reminder to change your passwords frequently.”
Ritchie claims that Xero has noticed an increase in the volume of phishing attacks and malware scams, citing the breach as an “industry-wide problem” for business software, online banking and other websites.
“Our security team has been tracking a small number of incidents - the result of phishing attacks, where a handful of Xero usernames and passwords have been obtained - we recommend that Xero users update their anti-malware (anti-virus, anti-spyware), and change their passwords,” Ritchie adds.
“Our team is continuously looking for patterns of malicious activity and will notify users when we believe there to be a problem - much like when your bank contacts you if they believe your card has been used fraudulently.”
Ritchie says the company is currently testing additional Two-Step Authentication (2SA), designed to provide a further layer of protection.
“Under 2SA you will need to enter a Time-based One-time Password (TOTP), which will be generated by an authenticator app you’ve installed on your phone or other smart device, and you would need both your password and the TOTP to gain access to Xero,” Ritchie adds.
“Security is a key focus for us at Xero. We’ll continue to share our security updates and best practices with you.”
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