Phish Found in Proofpoint-Protected Environments – Week Ending June 14, 2020

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100% of the phish seen by the Cofense Phishing Defense Center (PDC) have been found in environments protected by Secure Email Gateways (SEGs), were reported by humans, and automatically analyzed and dispositioned by Cofense Triage.

Cofense solutions enable organizations to identify, analyze, and quarantine email threats in minutes.

Are phishing emails evading your Proofpoint Secure Email Gateway? The following are examples of phishing emails seen by the PDC in environments protected by Proofpoint. Cofense sees macro-laden attachments reaching the inbox so frequently, we did a Phish Fryday episode on the topic.TYPE: Malware – NanoCore

DESCRIPTION: This phish spoofs an international lifestyle company to deliver a macro-laden Microsoft Publisher file. Once enabled, the macros download a series of HTA scripts to unpack enclosed .NET libraries which then unpack and run the NanoCore Remote Access Trojan. The use of Publisher files in phishing attacks is not new, as Cofense reported on its use in the Necurs botnet back in 2018.TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: This French phish – poisson? – pretends to be a number of missed calls. The link leads to a web form designed to steal credentials. Attackers leverage the simplicity of many voicemail notification emails, as Cofense has been reporting for over a year.
TYPE: Malware – Ursnif

DESCRIPTION: This Italian-language phish uses a tactic that is successful far too often – Microsoft Office documents (in this case Excel) that contain malicious macros. This sample delivered the Ursnif data stealer. Ursnif is hardly a newcomer to the phishing threat landscape, as Cofense has been reporting on it for years.
TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Got documents? This phishing attempt claims to deliver an important PDF file but leads to a website designed to steal Office 365 credentials. Once these credentials are provided, the victim is redirected to a document hosted on Google Drive.
TYPE: Reconnaisance

DESCRIPTION: Information gathering is often a prelude to a cyberattack and this phish used a layered approach to perform reconnaissance on the target. Using an embedded URL, the victim is lured into downloading an archive containing a VBScript (.vbs). This script then attempts to download a PowerShell script that will gather information about the infected endpoint and environment.
TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: With a smorgasbord of foreign language-themed attacks in this week’s catch, this Swedish phish delivers an embedded URL that leads the victim to a Microsoft OneNote-hosted page designed to steal Office 365 credentials. Once provided, the victim is redirected to a document hosted on docdroid. Attackers leveraging Microsoft infrastructure to host malicious OneNote documents is nothing new.
TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Here’s another example of voicemail spoofing. This one leads to a website designed to steal Office 365 credentials and then direct the victim to Simple. Effective.TYPE: Malware – Trickbot

DESCRIPTION: While many of us like to enjoy a cup of java in the morning, this phishing attack uses Java shortcut files – .jnlp – that pull down a Java Archive (.jar) which then downloads and runs the Trickbot trojan. Hardly something you’d like to wake up to.
TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: This Coronavirus-themed phish promises a survey designed to steal corporate credentials. The malicious survey is hosted on Microsoft infrastructure – SharePoint – and exfiltrates the credentials using the legitimate SubmitSurveyData Microsoft URL. Survey phish is hardly a new tactic.
Malicious emails continue to reach user inboxes, increasing the risk of account compromise, data breach, and ransomware attack. The same patterns and techniques are used week after week.


Cofense recommends that organizations train their personnel to identify and report these suspicious emails. Cofense PhishMe® customers should use SEG Miss templates to raise awareness of these attacks. Organizations should also invest in Cofense Triage and Cofense Vision to quickly analyze and quarantine the phishing attacks that evade Secure Email Gateways.

Interested in seeing more? Search our Real Phishing Threats Database.All third-party trademarks referenced by Cofense whether in logo form, name form or product form, or otherwise, remain the property of their respective holders, and use of these trademarks in no way indicates any relationship between Cofense and the holders of the trademarks. Any observations contained in this blog regarding circumvention of end point protections are based on observations at a point in time based on a specific set of system configurations. Subsequent updates or different configurations may be effective at stopping these or similar threats.

The Cofense® and PhishMe® names and logos, as well as any other Cofense product or service names or logos displayed on this blog are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cofense Inc.

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