Phish Removal: Phish Found in Environments Protected by Proofpoint, Microsoft, Cisco, Mimecast and Symantec

By Mark Zigadlo, Cofense Phishing Defense Center

The Cofense Phishing Defense Center (PDC) sees tens of thousands of phishing emails that bypass secure email gateways (SEGs) every month. The PDC is an advanced managed detection and response (MDR) service that can remediate these malicious emails from mail environments within minutes.   

A few examples of phishing emails found in environments protected by SEGs can be found here. The ineffectiveness of SEGs continue to increase business risk daily. And the solution is more than high production-value awarenesstraining modules. You need a combination of people and technology to combat the innovativeness of attackers to quickly reduce/remove the business risk. 

Here’s a recent and real story about a phishing campaign (and its quickly morphed successor) that bypassed SEGs from Proofpoint (PFPT), Microsoft (MSFT), Mimecast (MIME), Cisco (CSCO) and Symantec (SYMC).   

The suspicious email below arrived in my inbox. I reported it to the PDC using Cofense Reporter.

Figure 1 – Phishing Email 

I received a response eight minutes later saying the email was malicious (BazarBackdoor malware) and removed from my mailbox. Amazing speed, eight minutes to remove the threat and stop the attack!

Detection

Drilling down further, I saw Cofense’s network effect was in full action in the PDC. The network effect is the unique combination of people and technology that allows one participant in the network to benefit from threats found by another participant in the network. At Cofense, we have over 25 million people contributing to make the network effect an unparalleled security tool. In this case, the PDC had detected similar attacks for 15 other PDC customers (people in the network), which enabled the PDC to respond with lightning speed throughout the day.

Here is the kill chain/timeline for the first customer that received this phishing campaign.

Twelve minutes between the first report and removal of malicious emails from user mailboxes, but the story gets better.   

The PDC uses a key feature of Cofense Vision called Auto Quarantine which looks for new emails matching the ones just identified and quarantined. Over the next 24 minutes, 22 additional emails were detected and removed by Cofense Vision. 

Response & Remediation 

As we know, attackers are constantly innovating to bypass security technology. This is why you need the combination of people and technology to reduce/remove the risk. This case was no different. Two hours after the first phishing campaign was identified and stopped, a slightly modified campaign was launched against the same customer. The PDC jumped back into action again. 

More amazing results. Twenty-two minutes between the first report of the modified campaign and removal of malicious emails from user mailboxes through Cofense’s Phishing Defense Center.

The Phishing Defense Center harnesses phishing intelligence from the frontlines of the world’s most active phishing campaigns to quickly protect everyone in the network. 

To learn how you can efficiently identify and remove phish that have bypassed your SEG, click here for a free demo of the Phishing Defense Center. 

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.

Twelve Flavors of Phish: Canadian Workers Targeted With Fake Covid-19 Relief Deposits

By Jake Longden and Elmer Hernandez, Cofense Phishing Defense Center

Financial aid programs continue to be popular targets in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with government relief grants a particularly great one to exploit.  

The Cofense Phishing Defence Center (PDC) has observed a recent phishing campaign in Canada that aims to harvest banking credentials and other personal information from 12 different banking institutions. This was achieved by preying on employees who were expecting COVID-19 relief grants in the form of the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit). These funds are supposedly sent via an electronic transfer from Interac, a legitimate Canadian interbank network. 

With multiple world governments providing such grants, and millions of people relying on these as their main source of sustenance, adversaries will continue exploiting such dependence. 

CERB Deposit

The email purports to be a notification from Interac’s e-transfer service, indicating that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made a CERB deposit of $1,957.5 CAD (approx. $1,463 USD). A fictitious expiration date is included in an attempt to instill a sense of urgency.

The CERB scheme gives financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who have been affected by the COVID- 19 pandemic. It offers $2,000 CAD (approx. $1,490 USD) for a four-week period.

Figure 1 – Email Body 

Header

The SPF fail in the headers (Figure 2) indicates that the email is likely spoofed, and the IP address suggests that it came from a potentially compromised device using the University of South Florida network (Figure 3). The choice of the name ‘cra-cerb’ in the address is used to add credibility to the email.

Figure 2 – SPF Fail 

Figure 3 – USF IP Address 

A Phish of 12 Different Flavors

The first landing page the phish visits is an impersonation of the CRA. It has working links in both French and English like a legitimate site from the Canadian government. Once the user has selected their language choice, they will be redirected to an impersonated Interac e-transfer site in said language.

Figure 4 – CRA Spoofed Site  

Once in the spoofed Interac e-transfer site (Figure 5)the user must choose their personal bank from twelve different options in order to receive the deposit. All of these banks are actual members of the Interac network, which suggests attention to detail from adversaries: 

  • ATB Financial 
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO) 
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) 
  • Desjardins 
  • Laurentian Bank 
  • Meridian 
  • National Bank of Canada 
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) 
  • Scotiabank 
  • Simplii Financial 
  • Tangerine 
  • TD Canada Trust 

Figure 5 – Spoofed Interac Page 

Next, the recipient is taken through a series of spoofed pages for the corresponding bankwith some offering both English and French versionsAll pages reside within compromised website of a Washington, DC area businessThe URL paths vary depending on the bank, but follow the following format:  

hxxps://lincolnrestaurant-dc[.]com/interca/{unique 32 character string}/bank/{bank name}/{html or php file} 

Although no two options are identical, most of the twelve spoofed banks ask for similar details: 

  • Usernames 
  • Card Numbers 
  • Passwords 
  • Security Questions and Answers 
  • Personal Information (PI) (Full Name, Date of Birth, Email, etc) 

Scotiabank (English) was chosen to showcase an example of the entire phish process. The initial page the user is presented with is a standard login page asking for credentials, notice the slight typo of the word “sign” on the “Sing in button (Figure 6). 

Figure 6 – Scotiabank Sign in 

The next page asks for sensitive PI and card information (Figure 7). The user is then asked for Security questions and answers (Figure 8), which might falsely provide the reassurance that some form of multi-factor authentication is being employed. The combination of PI such as a Social Insurance number, credit card numbers and MFA questions could form a fairly solid base for identity theft/impersonation. Once submitted a final page confirms the funds will be deposited in 48 hours (Figure 9).

Figure 7 – Scotia PI and Card Info 

Figure 8 – Scotia MFA Security Questions 

Figure 9 – Deposit Successful 

Figures 10 through 20 show the login pages for the remaining eleven spoofed banks.  

Figure 10 – ATB 

Figure 11 – BMO 

Figure 12 – CIBC  

Figure 13 – Desjardins  

Figure 14 – Laurentian  

Figure 15 – Meridian  

Figure 16 – National Bank 

Figure 17 – RBC  

Figure 18 – Simplii  

Figure 19 – Tangerine  

Figure 20 – TD  

Indicators of Compromise

Malicious URL:

hxxps://lincolnrestaurant-dc[.]com/interca

Associated IP:

108[.]167[.]182[.]39

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.
sample phish spoofs salesforce to deliver credential phishing link

Phish Found in Proofpoint-Protected Environments – Week Ending September 27, 2020

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. This week we see a plethora of links – most of them using trusted services – reach customer inboxes. When technology is unable to block phish because of the risk of blocking legitimate emails, it’s well-trained users that detect and report threats.

sample phish spoofs the irs to deliver a link to buer loader

TYPE: Malware – Buer Loader

DESCRIPTION: This phish uses the element of surprise and urgency with a tax theme to lure the recipient into clicking the link. The link looks trustworthy, since it’s hosted in Google Docs. It leads, however, to an install of the Buer Loader. Cofense has been writing about the use of Google Docs in phishing attacks since 2017.

sample phish uses a payment theme to deliver a link to credential theft

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Leveraging a finance theme, this phish uses trustworthy Microsoft OneDrive URLs. Okay, so they’re not quite trustworthy, since they’ll lead the recipient to a Microsoft OneNote document that redirects to a credential harvesting site. Where did you want to go today?

sample phish uses a shipment theme to deliver a link to netwire rat

TYPE: Malware – NetWire RAT

DESCRIPTION: Spoofing a logisitics company, this phish promises shipping information but hides malicious links behind innocent-looking images. Clicking the link leads the recipient to install GuLoader, which installs the NetWire Remote Access Trojan.

sample phish delivers a google doc link to buer loader that installs bazarbackdoor

TYPE: Malware – Buer Loader

DESCRIPTION: If you’re thinking this phish looks awfully familiar, it’s not you. Aside from the change to an employee termination theme, this attacks leverages the exact same tactic as our first example – a Google Docs-hosted threat. In this case, the Buer Loader goes on to install the BazarBackdoor malware. These attacks should get you all fired up.

sample phish delivers xlsx attachment leading to agent tesla keylogger

TYPE: Malware – Agent Tesla

DESCRIPTION: Using a purchase theme, this phish offers to place an order for seafood but delivers a malicious Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with a CVE-2017-0199 to CVE-2017-11882 download chain to the Agent Tesla Keylogger. I wonder if they wanted that seafood shipped COD?

sample phish delivers credential phishing link using a document theme

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Spoofing a healthcare organization, this document-themed phish delivers a link to a credential harvesting site. Although redacted to protect the innocent, this sample used a very legitimate-looking message with signature block and legal disclaimer.

sample phish spoofs salesforce to deliver credential phishing link

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: This phish uses urgency and the trappings of a popular SAAS platform to lure the recipient into clicking the link. In this case, the links lead to a credential harvesting site. Although not a panacea, Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) is still an effective way to protect your organization.

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.

Recommendations

Cofense recommends that organizations train their personnel to identify and empower them to 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.

End of Support for Windows 7 Means Beginning of Upgrade-Themed Phishing Campaigns

By Kaleb Kirk, Cofense Phishing Defense Center  

Over the last few years, businesses have been getting serious about updating their corporate desktop images. For quite some time, Windows 7 has been the predominant operating system (OS) for many workplaces and environmentsWindows 10 was released in 2015yet many companies are just now making the transition. With that comes the pains of upgrading end users machines. Standardizing a corporate desktop image is arduous with complicated edge cases that must be considered for all the hardware variants. The job is further complicated when thirdparty software has yet to officially support a new OS. This explains why enterprises wait, sometimes for years, before taking the plunge. Unfortunately, these delays give the bad guys time to refine exploitation techniques on older operating systems lacking the latest architecture.  

The phishing lure below preys on the victim’s anxiety about losing productivity while their computer is upgraded. Comically, the attacker uses a colorful list of benefits the end user receives to get them to take the baitWill we see an uptick in this phishing lure? It will depend on the success rate of this theme. Time will tell.   

Figure 1-2: Email Body

The subject references a Windows upgrade, but there is also something else manipulative: the inclusion of the “RE:” before the rest of the subject. Internal email about company meetings, news and IT upgrades are common. Prefixing the “RE:” may instill a sense of urgency by leading the user to believe they have missed a prior communication about the upgrade.

We look at phishing emails that bypass commercial gateways all day, every day. Most of them are hastily slapped together. This lure needs improvement, but it’s not completely awful. We give this threat actor two gold stars for the table with made-up laptops, fake serial numbers, building, etc. It applies a good sense-of-urgency ploy using the highlighted “Today,” and the body doesn’t have obvious grammar or spelling errors. Again, not completely awful.

How can this attacker upgrade this lure from a C- to a B+? This email would be more believable if the sender were more generic. “Helpdesk,” for example. We obfuscated the From: line of the compromised account  “Genadiy” which was not from the intended victim’s company domain, and certainly not from their IT department. The intended victim unfortunately doesn’t have a clean way to easily know the true underlying URL because it’s annoyingly masked by Proofpoint’s URL Defense (which, ironically, would not have defended the user because, once clicked, the phishing page loaded instantly).

Figure 3: Credential Phishing Page

Figure 3, above, shows the loaded credential phishing page. This page gets a D- for lack of effort. They wasted a valid SSL certificate on a terrible version of an OWA login page.

This phish closes out cleanly by redirecting the intended victim to a Microsoft page about the discontinued support of Windows 7 (but still leaves the target worried about their OS upgrade).

Figure 4: Final Redirect

Attackers have been using the “time to upgrade your out-of-date software” ploy for years. With Windows 7 ending official support, it won’t be surprising if we see a flurry of better versions of this phish in the future. Hopefully your vigilant users know that “Genadiy” (from a company that isn’t yours) doesn’t upgrade an operating system “Today,” and via email. Cheers.

Network IOC IP
hXXps://app[.]getresponse[.]com/site2/ken23456789765?u=w3DxF&webforms_id=hlvzr 104[.]160[.]64[.]9
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.
sample phish spoofs sharepoint with a fax notification that will lead to a credential harvesting site

Phish Found in Proofpoint-Protected Environments – Week Ending September 20, 2020

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. This week we see examples that are part of complex polymorphic campaigns. They use varying tactics to confuse perimeter defenses and increase the workload on security teams. Without a powerful phishing analysis platform, chances are high that at least one of these attacks will succeed.

sample phish uses a document theme with either link or xls attachment to deliver trickbot

TYPE: Malware – TrickBot

DESCRIPTION: This first example comes in a couple of flavors – links and attachments. Both use a project theme to lure the recipient into accessing a macro-laden Microsoft Office spreadsheet to deliver TrickBot first and then BazarBackdoor.

sample phish uses invoice theme to deliver a link to hentai onichan ransomware

TYPE: Malware – Hentai OniChan

DESCRIPTION: Another example highlights the variations an attacker will use within the same campaign. This finance-themed phish delivers links to either directly, or via a .html file, download the Hentai OniChan ransomware.

sample phish uses a link to install a reconnaissance tool

TYPE: Malware – Reconnaissance Tool

DESCRIPTION: This campaign uses a mix of themes to deliver a reconnaissance tool. The example shown uses an illness theme, while others use a report theme. Either way, the result leaves us feeling a bit sickened.

sample phish uses a proposal theme to deliver links to a credential harvesting site

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Finally someone cares about security! This email promises a secure invitation and a business proposal. How can you resist? We recommend you keep from clicking the embedded links, since they lead to a credential harvesting site.

sample phish spoofs sharepoint with a fax notification that will lead to a credential harvesting site

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: That’s an awfully legit-looking SharePoint logo you got there. That must mean the linked fax document is also legit. It’s not, of course, as the link will take the recipient to a site designed to steal credentials.

sample phish uses an invoice theme to deliver an encrypted doc attachment that will install trickbot

TYPE: Malware – TrickBot

DESCRIPTION: Shipping an invoice with a password is a sure sign it can be trusted, right? Must be really important. In this case, the most important thing is not to fall for the phish, as the attached Microsoft Office document uses macros to deliver a set of VBS scripts to install TrickBot.

sample phish with a purchase order theme uses a linked image to install nanocore remote access trojan

TYPE: Malware – NanoCore RAT

DESCRIPTION: This phish comes with all the charm of a truck stop breakfast diner. A friendly greeting and a nasty ending thanks to a link that leads to a NanoCore Remote Access Trojan installer. Better get the biscuit to go.

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.

Recommendations

Cofense recommends that organizations train their personnel to identify and empower them to 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.

sample phish uses a quote theme to deliver a pdf attachment with a link to azorult stealer

Phish Found in Proofpoint-Protected Environments – Week Ending September 13, 2020

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. Attackers continue to find ways to hide their intentions from technical controls using encrypted attachments and malware hosted on trusted platforms.

sample phish uses a quote theme to deliver a pdf attachment with a link to azorult stealer

TYPE: Malware – AZORult Stealer

DESCRIPTION: This quotation-themed phish has all the pressure of a high stakes auction. It’s a lot of words – many of them impactful – in a short amount of space. Rather than raising their hand for an unintended bid, the recipient of this email clicked the Cofense Reporter button so our PDC could identify a malicious link in the attached PDF that led to the AZORult Stealer malware. Going once. Going twice. Gone!

sample phish uses a document theme to deliver a password-protected zip to install iced-id

TYPE: Malware – Iced-ID

DESCRIPTION: This phishing threat isn’t just cryptic, it’s encrypted! This response-themed attack delivers a password-protected .zip archive containing a macro-laden Microsoft Office document with a .hta downloader for Iced-ID. Opening this chilly attachment would have been a grave mistake.

sample phish uses an invoice-theme to deliver a malicious link leading to the wsh remote access trojan

TYPE: Malware – WSH Remote Access Trojan

DESCRIPTION: Many of us long for the days of unfettered travel and this email spoofs an aviation company with an invoice for a booked flight. It actually delivers a link to Google Drive that will download a VBS Loader to install the WSH Remote Access Trojan. Be careful what you wish for!

sample phish uses a response theme to deliver ursnif via embedded link on google docs

TYPE: Malware – Ursnif

DESCRIPTION: Skipping the friendly skies, there’s always the open road. And any decent road trip requires a sound insurance policy. This response-themed phish goes into considerable detail to convince the recipient to click the embedded links that will lead to a password-protected .zip archive containing VBS Droppers to run Ursnif. Our recipient appraised the offer and reported it to the security team.

sample phish uses a document theme to deliver a link to a credential harvesting site

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Un autre phish! Using a document theme, this simple attack uses Microsoft OneDrive links to host credential stealing web pages. Incroyable!

example phish with a bonus theme uses a .html attachment to install a reconnaissance tool

TYPE: Malware – Reconnaissance

DESCRIPTION: Just like the attackers, we’re throwing in this last phish as a bonus. A promise of money is often enough to lure a recipient into clicking. Had they opened the attached .html file, they would have been led to a macro-laden Microsoft Office document delivering a reconnaissance tool.

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.

Recommendations

Cofense recommends that organizations train their personnel to identify and empower them to 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.

Spoofed Training Email from Phishing Simulator Company

By Max Gannon and Brad Haas, Cofense Intelligence

Cofense Intelligence has analyzed a security awareness training-themed campaign that spoofs a training reminder email from KnowBe4. Embedded links in the email direct victims to a credential phishing page targeting both Microsoft Outlook credentials and personal information. The phishing kit is hosted on compromised sites and has been used on at least 30 domains since mid-April 2020, as detailed below.

The emails used in this campaign attempt to pressure recipients into clicking the link by warning that the user only has one day left to complete a required training. They also discourage recipients from browsing directly to legitimate company training pages with the following statement: “Please note this training is not available on the employee training Portal. You need to use the link below to complete the training[.]”

Figure 1: Phishing email spoofing a KnowBe4 notification

The phishing kit used in this attack first collects Outlook credentials, then loads another page soliciting several pieces of personal information.

Figure 2: First page of the credential phishing kit

Figure 3: Second page of the credential phishing kit

As noted, the campaign’s credential phishing kit has been hosted on at least 30 other sites since mid-April 2020. The kits all used the same exfiltration methods and files as the spoofed KnowBe4 campaign, targeting Outlook credentials. Previous campaigns using this kit had a sexual harassment training theme rather than a security training theme. Those campaigns redirected to a legitimate page related to sexual harassment, shown in Figure 4, after the credentials requested in Figure 2 and Figure 3 were entered. The credential phishing kit linked in the spoofed KnowBe4 campaign has already been taken down, but it is very likely that the threat actors redirected from it to a security training-related page instead.

Figure 4: The credential phishing kit from previous campaigns redirected to this page

After additional analysis, we discovered that several of the compromised sites, many of which run WordPress, had recently been used to host a specific web shell, “CHips L MINI SHELL.” The shell has a relatively small feature set, allowing attackers to upload and edit files on a compromised site. It has already been removed from the sites in most instances. However, it was installed on some of them in a way that made it publicly visible, so cached Google search results show that it had been present, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Web shell on compromised site hosting the credential phishing kit

The indicator of compromise (IOC) table below includes the phishing kit URLs mentioned above.

Table 1: IOCs

Associated Credential Phishing URLs
hxxps://2014[.]digitree[.]co[.]kr/samhwa/lib/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://acertijos[.]com[.]ar/Blog/wp-includes/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://avellanoeuropeo[.]ufro[.]cl/wp-content/plugins/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://breckinridgecounty[.]net/[.]well-known/acme-challenge/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://docentes[.]uto[.]edu[.]bo/dmoyaa/wp-includes/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://g5lab[.]com/aspera/uploads/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://greenup[.]co[.]in/wp-includes/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://kikihalekararlari[.]com/assets/plugins/flot/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://mobiletradesman[.]co[.]uk/wp-admin/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://modoou[.]net/wp-content/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://msk[.]turbolider[.]ru/wp-includes/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://niceoldtownapartment[.]com/wp-content/plugins/fusion-core/tinymce/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://otorrinosensantafe[.]com[.]mx/[.]well-known/pki-validation/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://pandeyize[.]com/[.]well-known/acme-challenge/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://plazaempresarial[.]com/[.]well-known/acme-challenge/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://propertyask[.]com/[.]well-known/pki-validation/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://rashifal[.]com/img/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://rotularltda[.]com/[.]well-known/acme-challenge/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://skinnyontherunapp[.]com/[.]well-known/acme-challenge/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://somelit[.]org/wp-content/plugins/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://tcvsat[.]com/tcvsat-respnov19/wp-includes/IXR/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://thegsmshop[.]com/wp-includes/css/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://www[.]aajtaknews[.]in/wp-content/cache/all/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://www[.]auntynise[.]com/[.]well-known/acme-challenge/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://www[.]happychappybrands[.]com/wp-includes/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://www[.]healthfavour[.]com/wp-includes/css/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://www[.]mvoguesalon[.]com/bootstrap/cache/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://www[.]samicultura[.]com[.]br/includes/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://www[.]search4blog[.]com/wp-content/plugins/bid/login[.]php
hxxps://digitalprakhar[.]com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/bid/login[.]php

Recommendations

Educating your workforce to identify these threats is key. Organizations can also stay on top of today’s dynamic threat landscape using Cofense Intelligence. Phishing causes nine out of ten data breaches. With Cofense Intelligence, you’ll get access to preemptive phishing alerts you can act on before you’re attacked.

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.
sample phish uses a document theme to deliver a linked image to an installer for nanocore remote access trojan

Phish Found in Proofpoint-Protected Environments – Week Ending September 6, 2020

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. Phishing attackers like saving money as much as they like making money, and they’re continuing to leverage trusted cloud providers to host their kits cheaply.

sample phish uses a proposal theme to deliver links to a credential harvesting site

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: This RFP is Ripe For Phishing, with an attack chain that starts with embedded Microsoft OneDrive links leading to a Googleapis domain designed to perform credential harvesting. Request For Password, anyone?

sample phish uses quote theme to deliver a linked image that leads to an install of agent tesla keylogger

TYPE: Malware – Agent Tesla

DESCRIPTION: Another phish that uses those oh-so-trustworthy Microsoft OneDrive links. These links lead to a .iso file that Microsoft Windows will dutifully mount to deliver the Agent Tesla keylogger. Cofense has examined the use of .iso files in phishing attacks before.

sample phish uses a document theme to deliver a linked image to an installer for nanocore remote access trojan

TYPE: Malware – NanoCore RAT

DESCRIPTION: They say third time’s a charm. This phish is less than charming as it too uses Microsoft OneDrive links behind a finance-themed image to deliver a .ace archive containing the NanoCore Remote Access Trojan. If this had been a simulation, our well-trained human would have aced the test.

sample phish uses wetransfer to deliver links to a credential harvesting site

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Would you believe that a phishing attack could spoof a popular file transfer service and yet deliver Microsoft OneDrive links? Well, seeing is believing as this attack links to hosted .htm files that harvest email login credentials.

sample phish with a finance theme delivers a linked image to the pyrogenic stealer malware

TYPE: Malware – Pyrogenic Stealer

DESCRIPTION: Are you ready for a change? This phish uses an image of a PDF document to hide a link to a Pyrogenic Stealer download. I bet you thought I was going to mention Microsoft OneDrive?

sample phish uses invoice theme to deliver a linked image to a credential harvesting site

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Here’s another example of a PDF image being used to mask a link to something bad. In this case, the recipient will be taken to a credential harvesting site.

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.

Recommendations

Cofense recommends that organizations train their personnel to identify and empower them to 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.

Message Quarantine Campaign with Overlying Potential

By Dylan Main, Cofense Phishing Defense Center 

Message quarantine phish are back, this time with a new tactic utilizing the targeted company’s homepage as part of the attack. The Cofense Phishing Defense Center (PDC) has identified this campaign which attempts to steal employee credentials by posing as a message quarantine email. Using an overlay tactic to disguise itself, this attack is an example of how threat actors are using more advanced techniques to make these malicious emails appear as though they are from a trusted source. 

Figure 1: Phishing Email

This campaign attempts to imitate the technical support team of the employee’s company and makes it appear as though the company’s email security service has quarantined three messages, blocking them from entering the inbox. It claims these messages failed to process and need to be reviewed in order to confirm validity. It even states that two of these were considered valid and are being held for deletion. This could potentially lead the employee to believe that the messages could be important to the company and entice the employee to review the held emails. Another social engineering technique the threat actor uses to lure the employee into interacting with the email is giving the messages urgency, asking the recipient to review them or they will be deleted after three days. Potential loss of important documents or emails could make the employee more inclined to interact with this email.

Figure 2: Phishing Email 

As seen in Figure 2, hovering over “Review Messages Now” shows the malicious URL. However, upon interacting with the link, the user will be directed to a phishing page unique to the employees’ company. Here is where this campaign uses advanced mechanics to make it appear even more legitimate. 

Figure 3: Cofense Phishing Page 

After interacting with the email, the employee will then be redirected to what appears to be a login screen on the company website (Fig 3). However, further analysis has determined that the page shown is actually the company’s website home page with a fake login panel covering it. This gives the employee a greater comfort level, by displaying to  a familiar page. It is also possible to interact with this page by moving outside of the overlay, showing that it is the actual page they have seen and used before. The overlay itself is attempting to prompt the user to sign in to access the company account. The entered credentials are then sent to the threat actor, giving them access to the target’s company account. 

Figure 4: Microsoft Phishing Page

Based on the analysis performed by the PDC, it was determined that each link, while still going to the same base domain, uses specific parameters to determine which web page pull, then overlays the fake login panel on top. Depending on what company the threat actor is targeting, the link will populate the address of the original recipient of the email. Figures 3 and 4 are examples provided by entering an address, in this case Cofense or Microsoft.  After the equal sign, the link will look at the domain of that address and pull the homepage. This campaign shows that threat actors can and will use any resource available to compromise business accounts.  

HOW COFENSE CAN HELP 

Cofense Resources 

Cofense PhishMeTM offers a simulation template named Email Quarantine Report – Alternate. 

Network IOC IP   
hxxp://google[.]com@ashousingcompany[.]com/www/?email=  104[.]27[.]158[.]208 
hxxp://traximgarage[.]com/www/webmail-std/appsuite/1ogin/mai1/  185[.]68[.]16[.]137 
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.