Abnormal Attack Stories: Cisco Webex Phishing

May 5, 2020

Abnormal Security

Abnormal Security

In this attack, attackers are impersonating a notification from Cisco Webex in order to steal the credentials of employees.

Quick Summary

  • Platform: Office 365
  • Email Gateway: MessageLabs
  • # Mailboxes: 2,800 to 5,000
  • Victims: Employees
  • Payload: Malicious Link
  • Technique: Impersonation

What was the attack?

  • Setup: Companies have largely transitioned to working from home where they can in response to the current pandemic and are relying on conferencing software such as Webex. Attackers are taking advantage of this transition to impersonate collaboration and enterprise software in order to steal user credentials.
  • Email Attack: The attacker sent an email impersonating an automated email from Cisco Webex, copying the formatting and graphics used by real emails from this company. It claims that the user is unable to use this service and that the user account is currently locked; to unlock their account, they must sign in with the provided link.
  • Payload:  The email includes a SendGrid link that redirects to a WebEx Cisco phishing credentials site hosted at “https://app-login-webex.com/”. The domain of this webpage has been recently registered by a registrar in the Czech Republic, and is not affiliated with Webex or Cisco more broadly. Attackers likely control this website and use it to steal user credential information.
  • Result: Should recipients fall victim to this attack, their Cisco Webex account as well as other personal information stored on the account would be at risk. The attacker could use the compromised user account to send further attacks within the organization and to external partners.

Why is this attack effective?

  • Urgency: The attack states that the user account has been locked, and they cannot host or join meetings until the situation is remedied by unlocking their account through the link provided. The attacker injects a sense of urgency, as the use of Webex as a meeting software has become a vital tool for business correspondence especially during the current work from home situation.
  • Convincing email and landing page: The email and landing page that the attacker created were convincing. The email was spoofed to appear like an automated notification from Webex, using the logo of the company to appear authentic. The landing page was almost identical to the real login page, and the URL even imitates the platform’s name.
  • Concealed URL: The URL is wrapped in text, and sent via a SendGrid Link. The attacker does this to conceal the real URL, and the user would be unable to distinguish whether the link is authentic until they clicked on it. Attackers likely expected that recipients would not scrutinize the link and assume the landing page was valid.
  • Impersonation and real URL: The attacker had impersonated WebEx, including official graphics used by the company. The attacker went a step further to register a lookalike domain that used the brand name. At first glance, it may seem like the link is authentic because “webex” is included in the URL title. However, under further investigation, the domain is not registered with Cisco nor its affiliates.

About

Abnormal Attack Stories are real world examples of attacks that we’ve seen in the wild.

Email Attack

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Payload

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Techniques to Detect

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