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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.


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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