New Phishing Campaign Uses Captcha to Bypass Email Gateway

By Fabio Rodrigues

Phishing threat actors are using Captcha methods to bypass automated URL analysis. By using Captcha techniques to prove human presence, the phish prevents the secure email gateway (SEG), in this case Mimecast’s gateway, from scanning the URL thereby enabling the threat to get through. Here’s how it works.

Email Body
The phishing email is sent from a compromised account at @avis.ne.jp as if it originated from a voip2mail service. The email alerts the recipient to a new voicemail message. The message is crafted in a simple format, with a preview of the voicemail to entice the recipient to click on the button to listen to the full message.

Figure 1: Email Body

This button is in fact an embedded hyperlink that will redirect the recipient to a page that contains a Captcha code to prove the victim is a human and not an automated analysis tool or, as Google puts it, “a robot.” It’s at this point that the SEG validation would fail. The SEG cannot proceed to and scan the malicious page, only the Captcha code site. This webpage doesn’t contain any malicious items, thus leading the SEG to mark it as safe and allow the user through.

Figure 2: Captcha Page

Once the human verification process is complete, the recipient is redirected to the real phishing page. In this example, it imitates the Microsoft account selector and login page. When unwitting victims login, their credentials are captured.

Figure 3: Phishing Page

As we can see, both the Captcha application page and the main phishing page are hosted on MSFT infrastructure. Both pages are legitimate Microsoft top level domains, so when checking these against domain reputation databases we receive a false negative and the pages come back as safe. SEGs frequently check URLS against reputation databases as part of a layered defense.

Table 1: Network IOCs

hxxp://t[.]mid[.]accor-mail[.]com/r/?id=
hxxps://osnm[.]azurewebsites[.]net/?b=
hxxps://phospate02[.]blob[.]core[.]windows[.]net/vric/112-vml[.]html?sp=r&st=2019-09-03T19:01:36Z&se=2019-09-28T03:01:36Z&spr=hxxps&sv=2018-03-28&sig=q4OWNkGXIlBtE99JknDZ047J94uFFCc%2BoNaZmtHOt2k%3D&sr=
52[.]239[.]224[.]36
66[.]117[.]16[.]17
52[.]173[.]84[.]157

 

HOW COFENSE CAN HELP

Cofense Resources

Cofense PhishMeTM offers a phishing simulation template, “New Voice Message,” to educate users on the attack described in this blog.

75% of threats reported to the Cofense Phishing Defense CenterTM are credential phish. Protect the keys to your kingdom—condition end users to be resilient to credential harvesting attacks with Cofense PhishMe.

Over 91% of credential harvesting attacks bypassed secure email gateways. Remove the blind spot—get visibility of attacks with Cofense ReporterTM.

Quickly turn user-reported emails into actionable intelligence with Cofense TriageTM. Reduce exposure time by rapidly quarantining threats with Cofense VisionTM.

Attackers do their research. Every SaaS platform you use is an opportunity for attackers to exploit it. Understand what SaaS applications are configured for your domains—do YOUR research with Cofense CloudSeekerTM.

Thanks to our unique perspective, no one knows more about the REAL phishing threats than Cofense. To understand them better, read the 2019 Phishing Threat & Malware Review.

 

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.

Phishing Emails Are Using SharePoint to Slip Past Symantec’s Gateway and Attack Banks

Hiding in plain sight by using trusted enterprise technologies almost guarantees delivery of a phishing URL. Case in point: a phishing campaign that delivered a legitimate Sharepoint URL to bypass the email gateway, in this case Symantec’s. Here’s how this increasingly popular phishing tactic works.

Email Body

The phishing email is sent from a compromised account at a third-party vendor asking the recipient to review a proposal document. The recipient is urged to click on an embedded URL. As seen below in figure 1, the URL has been wrapped by Symantec’s Click-time URL Protection and redirects the recipient to a compromised SharePoint account. SharePoint, the initial delivery mechanism, then delivers a secondary malicious URL, allowing the threat actor to circumvent just about any email perimeter technology.

Figure 1: email body

The embedded URL in the email body delivers the recipient to a compromised SharePoint site where a malicious OneNote document is served. The document is illegible and invites the recipient to download it by clicking on yet another embedded URL, which leads to the main credential phishing page.

Figure 2: Malicious OneNote Document

Phishing Page

The phishing page is a cheap imitation of the OneDrive for Business login portal. There, the recipient is given two options to authenticate, with their O365 Login credentials or by choosing to login with any other email provider. We see this tactic quite often as it increases the chances that the recipient will log in.

Figure 3: Phishing Pages

When we download the files from the compromised server, we can see that the credentials from the phishing form are posted by login.php. Login.php posts the harvested credentials to a Gmail account.

Figure 4: Login.php

Other files harvested from the compromised server shed light on the origin of this attack. Below is a readme file that instructs the operator on how to configure and install the phishing page onto a compromised webserver. We have also identified that this phishing exploit kit is part of a series of “Hacking tools” built and sold by BlackShop Tools.

Figure 5: readme.txt

IOCs:

Malicious URL(s):

hxxps://botleighgrange-my[.]sharepoint[.]com/:o:/p/maintenance/EngTNCs22_REkaJY4gVf9lwBqkwYFtDSmJJ7L2H-AnoDQg?e=tgtauL
hxxps://alblatool[.]com/xxx/one/
hxxps://alblatool[.]com/xxx/one/office365/index[.]php

Associated IP(s):

13[.]107[.]136[.]9
198[.]54[.]126[.]160

 

HOW COFENSE CAN HELP

To defend against the attack described in today’s blog, Cofense offers:

 

75% of threats reported to the Cofense Phishing Defense CenterTM are credential phish. Protect the keys to your kingdom—condition end users to be resilient to credential harvesting attacks with Cofense PhishMe.

Over 91% of credential harvesting attacks bypassed secure email gateways. Remove the blind spot—get visibility of attacks with Cofense ReporterTM.

Quickly turn user-reported emails into actionable intelligence with Cofense Triage. Reduce exposure time by rapidly quarantining threats with Cofense VisionTM.

Attackers do their research. Every SaaS platform you use is an opportunity for attackers to exploit it. Understand what SaaS applications are configured for your domains—do YOUR research with Cofense CloudSeekerTM.

Thanks to our unique perspective, no one knows more about the REAL phishing threats than Cofense. To understand them better, read the 2019 Phishing Threat & Malware Review.

 

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.

Updated Sep. 12

Trickbot Is Using Google Docs to Trick Proofpoint’s Gateway

By Tej Tulachan

The Cofense Phishing Defense Center (PDC) has detected a phishing campaign that delivers Trickbot embedded in a Google Docs link. Trickbot has been making the rounds for a long time now and is still considered one of the biggest malware threats targeting business today. Threat actors frequently utilize legitimate applications or trusted file sharing sites like Google Docs to bypass the email gateway and lure users to click on the link to deliver malware. In this case, the email made it through Proofpoint’s gateway utilized by our PDC customer.

Email Body

The email attempts to lure curious users to click on the link: “Have you already received documentation I’ve directed you recently? I am sending them over again.” This is a legitimately generated email by Google Docs when a file is shared by one of its subscribers. Unknowingly, the recipient is directed to a document hosted on Google that contains a malicious URL.

Fig 1. Email body

When the recipient clicks on the link it directs to a genuine Google Docs page as shown below, which contains a fake 404 error message and another embedded link. The threat actor baits the recipient into downloading the document: “Downloading the document manually via the link”. This link hxxps://docs[.]google[.]com/uc?id=112QLCdDtd4y-mAzr8hobCs0TP5mQmKfL downloads the malicious payload.

Fig 2. Google doc page

Once the URL links to a file hosted on Google drive, it downloads a Review_Rep.19.PDF.exe which has been disguised as PDF file. Many recipients will not see the .exe file extension. It’s something that you need to specifically enable in Windows. So, to them it looks like a legitimate PDF file since the attacker uses the icon for a PDF.

Fig 3. Pdf Icon

If we look at the file in a hex editor, we see that in fact it’s an executable file and not a PDF.

Take a look below in the editor, indicated by the magic bytes MZ which denotes a windows executable.

Fig 4. Magic Number

Once the payload is executed it creates a copy of itself (egолаСывЯыФЙ) in C:\ProgramData, where it  undertakes control over execution of the malware.

Fig 5. egолаСывЯыФЙ.exe

Furthermore, it creates another copy in “C:\Users\REM\AppData\Roaming\speedLan” that also includes the config file for Trickbot (settings.ini) (The directory depends on the Trickbot version.)

Fig 6. speedlan

If we look inside the settings.ini we see a lot of the “obfuscated” text.

Fig 7. Obfuscated text

Additionally, if we open up the Task Scheduler, we can see it also sets a task that starts the malicious file from the “Speedlan” folder.

Fig 8. Start Task Scheduler

Looking at the Triggers tab, we can see it has been set to repeat itself every 11 minutes for 596843 minutes (414 days) for this particular version of Trickbot. The scheduled task checks to see if the binary is running in memory every 11 minutes over a 1-year period. This means that the binary will stay persistent on the system if the process is terminated. The 414 day counter just insures that the scheduled task stays running for as long as the system is online (generally, people will reboot their computer at least once a year).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig 9. Trigger

This then hollows out Svchost, injects its malicious code, and launches it. It keeps launching more and more Svchost’s if you let it run. Each of these are typically responsible for a module of Trickbot.

Fig 10. Hollows Svchost

Indicators of Compromise (IOCs):

Malicious File(s):

 

Filename: Review_ Rep.19.PDF.exe

MD5: ab2a8fc10e8c1a39ae816734db9480de

SHA-256: 20328b1f169b1edeef38853dafbbacfdac53c66f7f1dd62f387091bedebfd497

File Size: 404,320 Bytes

Extension: exe

 

Malicious URL(s):

 

hxxps://docs[.]google[.]com/document/d/1fgSfd4DwReVKbcLI3ISO2jhX1Yn8WOqbXnmU_bg00_A/edit?usp=sharing_eip&ts=5d5accb1
hxxps://docs[.]google[.]com/uc?id=112QLCdDtd4y-mAzr8hobCs0TP5mQmKfL
hxxps://jaquetas01[.]cordenadorltda[.]org
hxxps://services[.]halapar[.]org

 

Associated IP(s):

200[.]119[.]45[.]140

107[.]181[.]175[.]122

79[.]143[.]31[.]94

198[.]27[.]74[.]146

186[.]47[.]40[.]234

181[.]129[.]93[.]226

190[.]152[.]4[.]210

 

HOW COFENSE CAN HELP

89% of phishing threats delivering malware payloads analyzed by the Cofense Phishing Defense CenterTM bypassed email gateways. Condition users to be resilient to evolving phishing attacks with Cofense PhishMeTM and remove the blind spot with Cofense ReporterTM. Cofense PhishMe offers a phishing scenario, “Shared Google Doc – TrickBot,” to help users identify the attack described in today’s blog.

Quickly turn user reported emails into actionable intelligence with Cofense TriageTM. Reduce exposure time by rapidly quarantining threats with Cofense VisionTM.

Easily consume phishing-specific threat intelligence to proactively defend your organisation against evolving threats with Cofense IntelligenceTM.

Thanks to our unique perspective, no one knows more about REAL phishing threats than Cofense™. To understand them better, read the 2019 Phishing Threat & Malware Review.

 

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.

New Phishing Campaign Bypasses Microsoft 365 ATP to Deliver Adwind to Utilities Industry

The CofenseTM Phishing Defense CenterTM has observed a new phishing campaign that spoofs a PDF attachment to deliver the notorious Adwind malware. This campaign was found explicitly in national grid utilities infrastructure. Adwind, aka JRAT or SockRat, is sold as a malware-as-a-service where users can purchase access to the software for a small subscription-based fee.

The malware boasts the following features:

  • Takes screen shots
  • Harvests credentials from Chrome, IE and Edge
  • Accesses the webcam, record video and take photos
  • Records audio from the microphone
  • Transfers files
  • Collects general system and user information
  • Steals VPN certificates
  • Serves as a Key Logger

Email Body

Fig1. Email Body

This email comes from a hijacked account at Friary Shoes. Also note the web address for Fletcher Specs, whose domain threat actors are abusing to host the malware.

The email body is simple and to the point: “Attached is a copy of our remittance advice which you are required to sign and return.” At the top of the email is an embedded image which is meant to look like a PDF file attachment, however, is in fact a jpg file with an embedded hyperlink. When victims click on the attachment, they are brought to the infection URL hxxps://fletcherspecs[.]co[.]uk/ where the initial payload is downloaded.

Fig 2. Payload 

The initial payload is in the form of a .JAR file named: “Scan050819.pdf_obf.jar.” Note that the attacker has attempted to make the file appear as if it were a PDF by attempting to obfuscate the file true extension.

Fig 3. Running processes

Once executed, we can see that two java.exe processes are created which load two separate .class files. JRAT then beacons out to its command and control server: hxxp://ns1648[.]ztomy[.]com

Fig 4. C2 Traffic

Adwind installs its dependencies and harvested information in: C:\Users\Byte\AppData\Local\Temp\. Here we can see the two class files the jave.exe process has loaded along with a registry key entries and several .dlls:

Fig5. Additional dependencies and artifacts 

The malware also attempts to circumvent analysis and avoid detection by using taskkill.exe to disable popular analysis tools and antivirus software. If we take a closer look at the registry entries file we see that the malware looks for popular antivirus and malware analysis tools.

Fig 6. Anti-Analysis

Indicators of Compromise (IOCs):

Malicious File(s):

File Name: Scan050819.pdf_obf.jar

MD5: 6b94046ac3ade886488881521bfce90f

SHA256: b9cb86ae6a0691859a921e093b4d3349a3d8f452f5776b250b6ee938f4a8cba2

File size: 634,529 bytes (619K)

File Name: _0.116187311888071087770622558430261020.class

MD5: 781fb531354d6f291f1ccab48da6d39f

SHA256: 97d585b6aff62fb4e43e7e6a5f816dcd7a14be11a88b109a9ba9e8cd4c456eb9

File size: 247,088 bytes (241K)    

File Name: _0.40308597817769314486921725080498503.class

MD5: 781fb531354d6f291f1ccab48da6d39f

SHA256: 97d585b6aff62fb4e43e7e6a5f816dcd7a14be11a88b109a9ba9e8cd4c456eb9

File size: 247,088 bytes (241K)

File Name: gCMmWntWwp7328181049172078943.reg

MD5: 7f97f5f336944d427c03cc730c636b8f

SHA256: 9613caed306e9a267c62c56506985ef99ea2bee6e11afc185b8133dda37cbc57

File size: 27,926 bytes (27K)

File Name: Windows3382130663692717257.dll

MD5: 0b7b52302c8c5df59d960dd97e3abdaf

SHA256: a6be5be2d16a24430c795faa7ab7cc7826ed24d6d4bc74ad33da5c2ed0c793d0

File size: 46,592 bytes (45K)

File Name: sqlite-3.8.11.2-fd78b49b-d887-492e-8419-acb9dd4e311c-sqlitejdbc.dll

MD5: a4e510d903f05892d77741c5f4d95b5d

SHA256: a3fbdf4fbdf56ac6a2ebeb4c131c5682f2e2eadabc758cfe645989c311648506

File size: 695,808 bytes (679K)

File Name: Windows8838144181261500314.dll

MD5: c17b03d5a1f0dc6581344fd3d67d7be1

SHA256: 1afb6ab4b5be19d0197bcb76c3b150153955ae569cfe18b8e40b74b97ccd9c3d

File size: 39,424 bytes (38K)

 

Malicious URL(s):

hxxps://fletcherspecs[.]co[.]uk/

hxxp://ns1648[.]ztomy[.]com

 

Associated IP(s):

109[.]203[.]124[.]231

194[.]5[.]97[.]28

 

HOW COFENSE CAN HELP

89% of phishing threats delivering malware payloads analysed by the Cofense Phishing Defense Center bypassed secure email gateways. Condition users to be resilient to evolving phishing attacks with Cofense PhishMeTM.It offers a phishing simulation, “Remittance Advice – Adwind,” to educate users on the attack described in today’s blog.

Remove the blind spot with Cofense ReporterTM—give users a one-click tool to report suspicious messages, alerting security teams to potential threats.

Quickly turn user reported emails into actionable intelligence with Cofense TriageTM. Reduce exposure time by rapidly quarantining threats with Cofense VisionTM.

Easily consume phishing-specific threat intelligence to proactively defend your organisation against evolving threats with Cofense IntelligenceTM.

Thanks to our unique perspective, no one knows more about REAL phishing threats than Cofense. To understand current threats, read the 2019 Phishing Threat & Malware Review.

 

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.

Remote Access Trojan Uses Sendgrid to Slip through Proofpoint

The CofenseTM Phishing Defense CenterTM observed a malware campaign masquerading as an email complaint from the Better Business Bureau to deliver the notorious Orcus RAT, part of the free DNS domain ChickenKiller which we blogged about in 2015. Here’s how it works:

Phishing Campaigns Imitating CEOs Bypass Microsoft Gateway to Target Energy Sector

Cofense IntelligenceTM has identified a highly customized credential phishing campaign using Google Drive to target a company within the energy sector. This phishing campaign is crafted to look like the CEO of the targeted company has shared an important message with the recipient via Google Drive. The email is legitimately sent by Google Drive to employees and appears to be shared on behalf of the CEO by an email address that does not fit the email naming convention of the targeted company. By using an authentic service, this phishing campaign was able to bypass the email security stack, in particular Microsoft Exchange Online Protection, and make its way to the end user.

This Phish Uses DocuSign to Slip Past Symantec Gateway and Target Email Credentials

By Tej Tulachan

The Cofense Phishing Defense CenterTM has observed a new wave of phishing attacks masquerading as an email from DocuSign to target the credentials of all major email providers. DocuSign is an electronic signature technology that facilitates exchanges of contracts, tax documents, and legal materials. Threat actors utilize this legitimate application to bypass the email gateway and entice users into handing out their credentials. Here’s how it works.

Email Body

At first glance, the email body looks well-presented with the correct DocuSign logo and its content. However, there is something suspicious within the first line of the message—the absence of the recipient’s name, just “Good day.” If we look deeper into the message body, we can see that there is an embedded hyperlink which directs to hxxps://ori8aspzxoas[.]appspot[.]com/gfi8we/

Figure.1

Email Header

From the email header we can see that the threat source originates from the domain narndeo-tech[.]com. Further investigation reveals it belongs to Hetzner Online GmbH which is a well-known hosting company based in Germany. We noted that there is no sign of proof this came from a genuine DocuSign domain.

From: Lxxxx Mxxx <xxxxxx22@narndeo-tech[.]com>

To: R______ L_______ <unsuspecting.victim@example.com>

Message-ID: <20190716055127.3AEBF4689BD125B3[@]narndeo-tech[.]com>

Subject: New Docu-Sign

X-Env-Sender: lesliemason22[@]narndeo-tech[.]com

Phishing Page

When users click on the embedded link, it redirects to a phishing page as shown below in figure 2. Here the attacker gives six separate options for users to enter their credentials to access the DocuSign document, increasing the likelihood this phisher gets a bite.

Figure.2

Once the user clicks on the given option, it redirects to the main phishing page as shown below in three versions, Office 365, Gmail, and iCloud.

Figure.3

Email Gateway: This threat was found in an environment running Symantec EmailSecurity.Cloud.

Conclusion:  

IOC

hxxps://ori8aspzxoas[.]appspot[.]com/gfi8we/

108[.]177[.]111[.]153

Recommendation:

Cofense™ cautions its customers to be wary of emails containing suspicious links or attachments. Specific to this sample, we recommend that customers be observant for emails that instruct users to provide their credentials. If your organization uses DocuSign as part of its business processes, remind users how they should expect legitimate notifications according to your internal standards. Cofense PhishMe™ customers may consider launching simulations that follow this style of attack to further train their users to detect and report suspicious emails.  A simulation template is available as “Completed Document,” which is based on a real phishing campaign. We also have existing newsletter (Announcement) content available to send to your users.

Reference: https://www.docusign.com/sites/default/files/Combating_Phishing_WP_05082017.pdf

HOW COFENSE CAN HELP

75% of threats reported to the Cofense Phishing Defense CenterTM are credential phish. Protect the keys to your kingdom—condition end users to be resilient to credential harvesting attacks with Cofense PhishMeTM.

Over 91% of credential harvesting attacks bypassed secure email gateways. Remove the blind spot—get visibility of attacks with Cofense ReporterTM.

Quickly turn user-reported emails into actionable intelligence with Cofense TriageTM.

Reduce exposure time by rapidly quarantining threats with Cofense VisionTM.

Attackers do their research. Every SaaS platform you use is an opportunity for attackers to exploit it. Understand what SaaS applications are configured for your domains—do YOUR research with Cofense CloudSeekerTM.

Thanks to our unique perspective, no one knows more about REAL phishing threats than  Cofense. To understand them better, read the 2019 Phishing Threat & Malware Review.

 

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.

Phishing Attackers Are Abusing WeTransfer to Evade Email Gateways

By Jake Longden

The Cofense Phishing Defense Center has observed a wave of phishing attacks that utilize the legitimate file hosting site WeTransfer to deliver malicious URLs to bypass email gateways. The attacks span major industries like banking, power, and media. Here’s how they work.

Email Body:

The email body is a genuine notification from WeTransfer which informs the victim that a file has been shared with them. The attackers utilise what appears to be compromised email accounts to send a genuine link to a WeTransfer hosted file. As these are legitimate links from WeTransfer, this allows them to travel straight through security checks at the gateway.

WeTransfer allows for the addition of a note to the email to clarify why the file was sent. Here, the threat actor will often write a note stating that the file is an invoice to be reviewed. This is a commonly observed phishing technique to pique the user’s interest.

Fig 1. Email body

Phishing Page:

When the user clicks on the “Get your files” button in the message body, the user is redirected to the WeTransfer download page where a HTM or HTML file is hosted and thus downloaded by the unsuspecting victim. When the user opens the .html file, he or she is redirected to the main phishing page.

Fig 2. WeTransfer Hosted file

In the final stage of the attack, victims are asked to enter their Office365 credentials to login. More often than not, we see a Microsoft Service being targeted, however we have observed other targeted brands.

Fig 3. Phishing Page

Gateway Evasion

As WeTransfer is a well-known and trusted file hosting system, used to share files too large to attach to an email, these links will typically bypass gateways as benign emails, unless settings are modified to restrict access to such file sharing sites. The PDC has observed this attack method to bypass multiple gateways. These include ProofPoint, Office365 Safe Links,  and Symantec.

Useful Resources for Customers

Description
Triage Yara rule: PM_WeTransfer_File_Download
PhishMe Templates: “File Transfer”
Cofense Intelligence: https://www.threathq.com/p42/search/default#m=26412&type=renderThreat 


Other Ways Cofense Can Help

The Cofense Phishing Defense Center identifies active phishing attacks in enterprise environments. Learn how our dedicated experts provide actionable intelligence to stop phishing threats.

75% of threats reported to the Cofense Phishing Defense Center are credential phish. Protect the keys to your kingdom—condition end users to be resilient to credential harvesting attacks with Cofense PhishMeTM.  Our solution offers a phishing simulation to protect against file-transfer attacks like the one described in this blog.

According to the Cofense Phishing Defense Center, over 91% of the credential harvesting attacks they identify bypassed email gateways. Remove the blind spot—get visibility of attacks with Cofense ReporterTM.

Quickly turn user reported emails into actionable intelligence with Cofense TriageTM. Reduce exposure time by rapidly quarantining threats with Cofense VisionTM.

Attackers do their research. Every SaaS platform you use is an opportunity for attackers to exploit it. Understand what SaaS applications are configured for your domains—do YOUR research with Cofense CloudSeeker.

Thanks to our unique perspective, no one knows more about current REAL phishing threats than Cofense. To raise your understand, read the 2019 Phishing Threat & Malware Review.

 

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.

This Phishing Attacker Takes American Express—and Victims’ Credentials

Recently, the CofenseTM Phishing Defense CenterTM observed a phishing attack against American Express customers, both merchant and corporate card holders. Seeking to harvest account credentials, the phishing emails use a relatively new exploit to bypass conventional email gateway URL filtering services.

UK Banking Phish Targets 2-Factor Information

Recently, the Cofense Phishing Defense Center observed a wave of phishing attacks  targeting TSB banking customers in the UK. We found these consumer-oriented phishing emails in corporate environments, after the malicious messages made it past perimeter defenses.

The convincing emails aimed to harvest an unsuspecting victim’s email, password, mobile numbers, and the “memorable information” used in two-factor authentication. If someone were to bite on the phish, they would be open to follow-up phone scams or the complete takeover of their bank account and credit cards.

Most UK banks implement two-factor authentication. They require users to set a standard password and a piece of memorable information, which users authenticate with their user name and password. Users are then asked to provide three random characters from their memorable information. This does two things to help improve the security of your bank account:

  1. It can help mitigate against man in the middle attacks, as any intercepted data would only reveal partial fragments of the memorable information.
  2. If a user’s email address and password combination has been leaked online, it provides an extra barrier for attackers attempting to access their accounts.

Again, if successful this phish could help the attacker evade these extra controls. Here’s how it works:

Email Body:

The attacks begins with an email purporting to be from the TSB customer care team, informing the customer that a new “SSL server” has been implemented to prevent access to customer accounts by third parties. It then asks the user to update their account information by clicking on the conveniently placed hyperlink.

Fig 1. Phishing Email

Headers:

To add authenticity to the attack, the threat actors have spoofed the sending information to make the email appear to come from the sender customercare[@]tsb[.]co[.]uk If we correlate this with the message ID, we can see that it actually originated from the ttrvidros[.]com[.]br a Brazilian registered domain.

From: TSB Bank <customercare[@]tsb[.]co[.]uk>
To: "MR, Example" <example@cofense.com>
Subject: EXTERNAL: Account Update Notice
Thread-Topic: EXTERNAL: Account Update Notice
Thread-Index: AQHVJzUy0rKRdi+45UWU8FPBrgSqiQ==
X-MS-Exchange-MessageSentRepresentingType: 1
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 06:55:28 +0000
Message-ID: <5630c1ff905b65891e435ec91b8a1390[@]www[.]ttrvidros[.]com[.]br>
Content-Language: en-GB

Fig 2. Header Information

Phishing Page:

The malicious page shown below on fig3 is almost identical to TSB online banking portal. The first page is directed to ask for a User ID and password.

Fig 3. Phishing Page 1

The victim is then asked to supply characters from their memorable information. This is typically a word that is memorable to the user and six characters or longer, usually a pet’s name, mother’s maiden name, or a favorite city or sports team. It is standard practice to only provide three characters of your memorable information. However, this is just a clever ruse to gain the confidence of the victim.

Fig 4. Phishing Page 2

The user is then redirected to a fake error page that states, “There is a problem with some of the information you have submitted. Please amend the fields below and resubmit this form.” Afterward, the form asks the victim for the full memorable information and the mobile phone number. Armed with the victim’s user-ID, password, memorable information, and phone number an attacker can easily gain access to the victim’s bank account and credit cards through the online portal—or perhaps more worryingly, they can utilize this information to launch a social engineering campaign over the phone, commonly referred to as vishing (Voice Phishing).

Fig 5. Phishing page 3

Gateway Evasion:

This threat was found in an environment running Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) which provides built-in malware and spam filtering capabilities it is intended to screen inbound and outbound messages from malicious software spam transferred through email. 

Learn More

75% of threats reported to the Cofense Phishing Defense Center are credential phish. Protect the keys to your kingdom—condition end users to be resilient to credential harvesting attacks with Cofense PhishMe™, which among many training scenarios offers an “Account Update Notice” phish to prepare for the type of credential attack examined in this blog post.

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Quickly turn user reported emails into actionable intelligence with Cofense Triage™. Reduce exposure time by rapidly quarantining threats with Cofense Vision™.

Attackers do their research. Every SaaS platform you use is an opportunity for attackers to exploit it. Understand what SaaS applications are configured for your domains—do YOUR research with Cofense CloudSeeker™.

Thanks to our unique perspective, no one knows more about the current REAL phishing threat than Cofense™. To improve your understanding, read the 2019 Phishing Threat & Malware Review.

 

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