Facebook Phishing Attack - Abnormal Security

Facebook Phishing Attack

In this attack, the attacker impersonates Facebook to send out a phishing attack using a legitimate Facebook link.

Quick Summary of Attack Target

Platform: Office 365
Mailboxes: >10,000
Email Security Bypassed: IronPort
Victims: Employees
Payload: Malicious Link
Technique: Impersonation

What was the attack?

Setup: At first glance, this email looks to be coming from Facebook Mail. The email informs the recipient that there have been reports of the recipient’s page violating Facebook policies. Through a legitimate Facebook link, the attacker provides a way for the recipient to appeal the supposed “violations,” stating that appeals will only be accepted within 48 hours. With additional research, there are a few indicators that this is in fact the start of a phishing attack.

Email Attack: Although the email is actually coming from a random Gmail account, the attacker changes the display name to “Facebook Mail” to deceive the recipient. The attacker also uses a real Facebook link leading to a real Facebook page. It is only after following the link on this page that the recipient will be redirected from the actual Facebook website.

Payload: Although the original link the attacker provides in the email leads to Facebook’s website, the link is concealed, and redirects to a phishing page. Upon clicking on the link, the recipient is redirected to a fake website with the url ‘https://facebook-support[.]appealing6608[.]xyz/’. The attacker attempts to fool the recipient by putting “facebook-support” in the URL, but the domain of this site, “appealing6608[.]xyz,” has no relation to Facebook. This impersonated Facebook site then asks the recipient for their email or phone number, full name, and any additional information. When the recipient fills this out and clicks submit, they are led to the last step of the attack. The final landing page looks like a legitimate Facebook login page, stating “you must log in to continue,” but the domain remains “appealing6608[.]xyz,” instead of “facebook.com.” It is here that, if the login is filled out, the attacker gains the recipient’s Facebook credentials.

Result: If the recipient does fall subject to this attack and inputs their credentials, the attacker may have access to their sensitive, personal information. The attacker can find out where the recipient lives, goes to school, or other sensitive details about them through their Facebook profile. This also gives the attacker the opportunity to take advantage of this compromised account and attempt to compromise the recipient’s Facebook friends as well.

Why is this attack effective?

Convincing Landing Page: To make this attack effective, the attacker uses a real Facebook link in their email, possibly causing the recipient to believe this was a real email from Facebook and a safe link to follow. Further, the attack conceals the link provided on the original landing page. The link appears as though it will lead to another Facebook website, but instead leads to a phishing site. It is only after the recipient follows the link in the original landing page that they may realize that this is not a legitimate email, as they are redirected from Facebook.com. The final landing page that the recipient is faced with, where they are asked to input their credentials, looks nearly identical to the real Facebook login page.

Urgency: The attackers claim that appeals will only be accepted for 48 hours after the receipt of this email. This creates a sense of urgency for the recipient that will make it more likely for them to overlook red flags in their haste to complete the actions this email says are required of them.

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