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Phish Found in Proofpoint-Protected Environments – Week Ending July 19, 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 threat actors continue to rely on tried-and-true methods to get their attacks into user inboxes. We discussed the latest trends recently on our Phish Fryday podcast.

example phish delivers LolKek ransomware with an xlsb attachment

TYPE: Malware – LolKek

DESCRIPTION: This phish uses an order theme spoofing to deliver a Microsoft Excel Binary attachment (.xlsb). Within this file, macros are designed to download and install a recently discovered form of ransomware called LolKek. Excel Binary documents aren’t as common in general usage, but come in handy when working with large files. Or malicious attachments.

sample phish delivers Remcos remote access trojan via image link

TYPE: Malware – Remcos

DESCRIPTION: This contract-themed phish delivers an image link designed to look like an attached Microsoft Office document. Instead, it downloads a document crafted to exploit CVE-2017-11882, download a VBS script, which downloads a PowerShell script. That script then unpacks and loads a DotNET Loader that runs the Remcos Remote Access Trojan. That’s a long way of saying system compromise.

phishing example spoofs world health organization to deliver credential theft link

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Taking advantage of the current pandemic, this phish spoofs the World Health Organization to convince the recipient to click the link. Doing so prompts for credentials including “Gmail, Office, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, and ‘other’” and then directs to a Google Drive-hosted PDF. Despite the official looking sender and logo, the body is rife with grammatical errors.

phishing example performs credential theft via image link

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Claiming to provide an attached statement, this phish uses a linked URL masquerading as a PDF attachment to direct the recipient to a Microsoft SharePoint-hosted page designed to steal credentials. Cofense continues to cover the use of trusted cloud services for untrustworthy purposes.

phishing sample delivers dridex malware via zipped attached word document

TYPE: Malware – Dridex

DESCRIPTION: This invoice-themed phishing attack promises a booking invoice but delivers a macro-enabled Microsoft Word document inside a ZIP archive. Those macros lead to the installation of the Dridex malware.

phish example spoofs HR to deliver credential theft via embedded link to sharepoint

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Still getting used to remote work? Attackers hope so, attempting to trick recipients into following their trusted Microsoft SharePoint links to a nasty end. In this case, a credential harvesting page. Cofense has put together a number of tips to help you defend your remote workers.

example phish with fax theme delivers credential theft with an htm attachment

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: Just the fax, ma’am. This fax-themed phish encourages the recipient to open the attached .htm file. The file is designed to look like a Microsoft login page. The attacker is hoping to capture the login credentials of the recipient.

example phish that delivers an embedded URL for credential theft

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: The Coronavirus theme is still getting some mileage among attackers. This one includes an embedded URL that will try and steal credentials for “Outlook, Office365, Gmail, Yahoo, and ‘other’” services. After providing credentials, the recipient is sent to a legitimate-looking PDF in an attempt to reduce suspicion.

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 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.

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