chat
expand_more

COVID-19 Messages Part of Credential Phishing Attack

With many employees forced to work from home because of COVID-19, cybercriminals can take advantage of the fear and uncertainty caused by the pandemic. This attack features a new phishing scheme around returning to the office. Despite (or perhaps because of) the rise in COVID-19...
November 20, 2020

With many employees forced to work from home because of COVID-19, cybercriminals can take advantage of the fear and uncertainty caused by the pandemic. This attack features a new phishing scheme around returning to the office.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the rise in COVID-19 cases, companies are now providing status updates on when offices are expected to reopen and when employees can return to working there. In this attack, scammers impersonate an internal company memo about when the company will return to the office to steal employees' credentials.

Summary of Attack Target

  • Email Security Bypassed: G Suite
  • Victims: Employees
  • Payload: Attachment
  • Technique: Impersonation

Overview of the Back-to-Work Phishing Attack

The email is disguised as an automated internal notification from the company, as indicated by the sender display name. The sender's actual address is 'news@newsletterverwaltung.de’, an otherwise unknown party and the IP originates from a blacklisted VPN service that is not consistent with the corporate IP. This indicates the sender is impersonating the automated internal system.

The email is sent to a specific employee, requesting a call back with an attachment and text that make it seem like the recipient has received a voicemail.

The email contains an HTML attachment containing the recipient’s name, which encourages the recipient to open it. By clicking on the attachment, the user is redirected to a SharePoint document with new instructions on the company’s remote working policy. Underneath the new policy, there is text that states “PROCEED WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT HERE”.

Clicking on this link redirects the user to the attack landing page which is a form to enter the employee’s email credentials.

If the recipients fall victim to this attack, the login credentials for their email account will be compromised, and the attackers will gain access to sensitive corporate and personal information. Although there is an explicit message telling those who fall on this landing page that they should never give out their passwords, there may be some number of recipients who still input their credentials.

Why the Back-to-Work Phishing Email is Successful

This attack utilizes growing concerns regarding company safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. This email sets a short deadline for when employees must acknowledge that they have received this message and complete the form.

And because employees are more likely to provide credential information to others within their organization, the attacker attempts to impersonate the company’s internal messaging system and HR department.

Abnormal detected this malicious email due to the unusual sender, the failed email authentication, and the suspicious attachment. These three things combined provide enough insight to make this email dangerous and stop it before it hits inboxes.

Learn how to protect your company against brand impersonation and other types of credential phishing attacks by requesting a demo of the Abnormal platform.

COVID-19 Messages Part of Credential Phishing Attack

See Abnormal in Action

Get a Demo

Get the Latest Email Security Insights

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on the latest attacks and new trends in the email threat landscape.

 

See the Abnormal Solution to the Email Security Problem

Protect your organization from the full spectrum of email attacks with Abnormal.

 
Integrates Insights Reporting 09 08 22

Related Posts

B Complex Case of Account Compromise Blog
Discover how Abnormal helped one organization detect the sophisticated tactics an attacker used to compromise an employee's email account.
Read More
B Cross Platform Account Takeover
Discover the dangers of cross-platform account takeover, the challenges of detecting this attack, and how to implement proactive protection against ATO.
Read More
B 5 17 24 Legal
Learn how cybercriminals use superficial disclaimers to deceive others while facilitating illegal activity on cybercrime forums.
Read More
B Cybersecurity Influencers Blog 2024
Stay up to date on the latest cybersecurity trends, industry news, and best practices by following these 15 innovative and influential thought leaders on social media.
Read More
B 5 13 24 Docusign
Cybercriminals are abusing Docusign by selling customizable phishing templates on cybercrime forums, allowing attackers to steal credentials for phishing and business email compromise (BEC) scams.
Read More
B CRN
Abnormal employees honored as CRN 2024 Women of the Channel for their influential leadership in the tech industry.
Read More