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Phish Found in Proofpoint-Protected Environments – Week Ending August 16, 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. We note a preponderance of malware this week, both via attachment and image links. With security teams overloaded with phishing response, perhaps Cofense Intelligence can help?

sample phish delivers a .xxe attachment that uses guloader to install the remcos remote access trojan

TYPE: Malware – Remcos

DESCRIPTION: This phish reminds us of an important lesson: always do the needful. This does not include extracting the attached .xxe file, since that will execute GuLoader and download the Remcos Remote Access Trojan. And who needs that?

sample phish uses an image link to deliver the pyrogenic stealer

TYPE: Malware – Pyrogenic Stealer

DESCRIPTION: It’s a good thing the confidentiality notice in this email absolves the sender of any virus being passed on. This payment-themed phish provides what looks like a poorly rendered PDF, but is instead an image with a link to a Pyrogenic Stealer download.

sample phish uses an image link to deliver the nanocore remote access trojan

TYPE: Malware – NanoCore

DESCRIPTION: Another image link designed to look like an attachment. This one includes a very friendly “DOWNLOAD” instruction. Very helpful if you’re looking to download the NanoCore Remote Access Trojan, something we saw resurface in March of 2018.

sample phising in the finnish language uses an embedded url to deliver agent tesla

TYPE: Malware – Agent Tesla

DESCRIPTION: This phish is bad from start to finish (see what I did there?). Promising a shipping document with tracking number, it actually delivers a link to the Agent Tesla keylogger. Our Phish Fryday podcast gave it some good coverage earlier in the year.

sample phish delivers the wsh remote access troja with an embedded url

TYPE: Malware – WSH RAT

DESCRIPTION: Hoping to keep your balance up to date? Be careful what you wish for. This payment-themed phish delivers a link to the WSH Remote Access Trojan. We discussed this variant of the Houdini Worm back in 2019.

sample phish in italian delivers a jnlp file leading to the ursnif malware

TYPE: Malware – Ursnif

DESCRIPTION: My Italian is a bit rusty. Ok, non-existent. But a translation tells me this is a refund from the Italian social security agency. The attached .jnlp shortcut file leads to a JAR Downloader that then installs and runs the Ursnif malware. We’ve seen Italian speakers targeted with Ursnif before.

sample phish steals credentials with a dropbox hosted pdf

TYPE: Credential Theft

DESCRIPTION: You knew we wouldn’t make it through an entire post without a credential phish. This attack leverages trust in the Dropbox logo but actually uses Google Cloud Storage to host a linked PDF. The supposed “business proposal” will steal your credentials faster than you can say trusted cloud storage.

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.

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