The ASEC analysis team monitors phishing email threats with the ASEC automatic sample analysis system (RAPIT) and honeypot. This post will cover the cases of distribution of phishing emails during the week from February 5th, 2023 to February 11th, 2023 and provide statistical information on each type. Generally, phishing is cited as an attack that leaks users’ login account credentials by disguising as or impersonating an institute, company, or individual through social engineering methods. On a broader note, the act is a technical subterfuge that enables the threat actor to perform attacks such as information leaks, malware distribution, and fraud against various targets. The focus of this post will be on the fact that phishing attacks mainly occur through emails. We will also provide a detailed classification of various attack methods that are based on phishing emails. Furthermore, we will make an effort to minimize user damage by introducing new attack types that have never been found before and emails that require users’ caution, along with their keywords. The phishing emails covered in this post will only be those that have attachments. Emails that have malicious links in the body without attachments will be excluded.
During this week, the most prevalent threat type seen in phishing email attachments was FakePage, taking up 75%. FakePages are web pages where the threat actor has imitated the screen layout, logo, and font of the real login pages or advertising pages, leading users to enter their account and password information. The input information is sent to the threat actor’s C2 server or used to induce users to access other fake websites. See <FakePage C2> below It was then followed by Infostealer, which took up 12%. Infostealer includes malware such as AgentTesla and FormBook, and they leak user credentials saved in web browsers, emails, and FTP clients. Aside from these, Downloader (9%), Worm (3%), Exploit (2%), Trojan (2%), and Backdoor (1%) types were detected. The threat types using phishing email attachments and their order of prevalence are similar to the order of malware distribution published weekly in the <ASEC Weekly Malware Statistics>.
File Extensions in Phishing Emails
We have identified which file extensions were used by the threats above for the distribution of email attachments. Among the email attachment types collected this week, FakePage was the most prevalent, and the HTML extension of scripts took up the highest portion with 69%. FakePages were distributed with web pages scripts (HTML, HTM) that must be executed with a web browser. Other malware, including Infostealer and downloader, came attached to emails with various file extensions including compressed files (GZ, ZIP, R00, etc.), IMG disk image files, and document files such as ONE, DOCX, DOC, and PDF.
Cases of Distribution
The following are distribution cases that occurred during the week from February 5th, 2023 to February 11th, 2023. The cases will be classified into FakePages and malware types, including Infostealer, Downloader, Exploit, and Backdoor. The numbers in email subjects and attachment filenames are unique IDs and may vary depending on the email recipient. Distribution cases with Korean subjects were also found. These are cases that specifically targeted Korean users instead of propagating themselves globally using the identical English subject and text.
|The new file has been received successfully.||Documents Folder.html|
|EFT Direct Deposit received on Wednesday.18.2023||EFT_Remmitance#854920_statement.htm|
|FW: Pending ACH For ***||ACHPay.htm|
|Package Delivery/ Arrival / Address Confirmation?||AWB_879990589.html|
|Jan/Feb new order||SC-new-order.Xsl.htm|
|[Korean Air] Entry Conditions and Required Quarantine Documents per Country||Shipment#BL#PDF.html|
|VENDOR FORM INVIOCE.||VENDOR-INVOICES.shtml|
|January new order||January-new-order.Xsl.htm|
Case: Malware (Infostealer, Downloader, etc.)
|Quotation | PO: GII-19146-22-DG-RP||Quotation PO GII-19146-22-DG-RP.img|
|Fwd: Invoice NO. INV/2023/0024 Payment_Reeipt||Payment Slip_2023_0024.docx|
|RE: Solicitud de estados de Pedido||Orden de compra.pdf.img|
|Requesting registration of detection pattern||[KBS Sunday Diagnosis]Questionnaire.docx|
|A new invoice is available (Invoice #Q0092871)||Invoice #Q0092871.one|
|Re: This is ****. Delivery Details Attached||ComplaintCopy_45636(Feb01).one|
|Re: RE: [*******] Notice on Idea Brainstorming Workshop for G.Startup (Must Read)||DocumentsFolder_844257_Feb_03.one|
|Re: ** Library Use Registration Form||ComplaintCopy_60768(Feb01).one|
|A new invoice is available (Invoice #0074352)||Invoice #0074352.one|
|Re: Did you authorize the payment?||TT_Advance.docx|
|Quotation||Quotation_Corodex Trading L.L.C.doc|
|FWD: URGENTLY FYI: FAILED TRANSACTION (FUND RETURNED)||TRANSFER MT103-FORM.doc|
|Provide Quotation For The Listed Items||PO-8372929.xls|
|AW: New Order||PO#4522091201_20230208.cab|
|RE: (AGENT) MNCA2301125 // (AI-2301-003) EXWORK AIRFREIGHT – ICN TO CGK – C/ PT MAJU MANDIRI UTAMA S/ DOOYANG TECH – ETD. JAN 2023||DRAFT HAWB and DRAFT MAWB.zip|
|RE: OUTSTANDING PI// SOA||PI.r17|
|RE: RE: Updated SOA 210827//答复: Statement 210826||TTRe01302023-pdf.gz|
|URGENT REQUEST FOR QUOTATION||URGENT REQUEST FOR QUOTATION ORDER SHEET.zip|
|AW: New PO 20102062023||New PO 20102062023..gz|
|New Order E298659 C_4091 PO_||EVP I_287008 O_298659 C_4091 PO_PDF.IMG|
|RE: RFQ-KIEFEL Packaging GmbH (1 20′ FCL) AUSTRIA PORT||RE RFQ-KIEFEL Packaging GmbH (1 20′ FCL) AUSTRIA PORT.r00|
|RE: RFQ-KIEFEL Packaging GmbH (1 20′ FCL) AUSTRIA PORT||RE RFQ-KIEFEL Packaging GmbH (1 20′ FCL) AUSTRIA PORT.exe|
|Updated SOA 210827//答复: Statement 210826||Statement 210826.zip|
|RE:STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT||S O A -[8363037ED].zip|
|DHL PACKAGE ARRIVAL /PICK UP 2/6/2023 10:16:55 a.m.||DHL PACKAGE DOCS.r00|
|ATTENTION: ***@******.**** Error while receiving e-mail!!||TTRES2102023-pdf.gz|
|TT COPY $12,106.00_20230209.pdf||TT COPY $12,106.00_20230209.gz|
|TRADE CORPORATION||TRADE QUOTATION FOR METALLCO TRONDHEIM.exe|
|FW:New order||New Order4563 .exe.PDF|
|PURCHASE ORDER INQUIRY PO_#33344||PURCHASE ORDER INQUIRY DB PO_#33344.r00|
|Quotation | PO: GII-19146-22-DG-RP||ORDER LIST AND DRAWINGS.pdf.gz|
|sexy photo very important||privatescene.scr|
|Re: very cool photos||fuck__phot.jpg.pif|
|Re: super wonderful pictures||wild_imgs.jpg.exe|
|Re: very nice pics only for you||fuck__images.gif.exe|
|Re: sexy pictures very important||wild_pctrs.gif.scr|
Keywords to Beware of: ‘Shipment’
FakePage C2 URL
When users enter their IDs and passwords on the login pages among the FakePages created by the threat actor, their information is sent to the attacker’s server. The list below shows the threat actor’s C2 addresses of fake login pages distributed during the week.
Attacks using phishing emails are disguised with content that can easily deceive users, such as invoices and tax payments, to induce users to access fake login pages or execute malware. Fake login pages are evolving by the second to closely resemble the original pages. The attackers pack malware in compressed file formats to escape the attachment scans of users’ security products. Users must practice strict caution and refer to recent cases of distribution to avoid being exposed to infection by malicious phishing emails. The ASEC analysis team recommends users follow the email security guidelines below.
- Do not execute links and attachments in emails from unverified senders until they are proven to be credible.
- Do not enter sensitive information such as login account credentials until the site is found to be reliable.
- Do not execute attachments with unfamiliar file extensions until they are found to be reliable.
- Use security products such as anti-malware software.
According to the MITRE ATT&CK framework, phishing email attacks correspond to the following techniques.
- Phishing for Information (Reconnaissance, ID: T1598)
- Phishing (Initial Access, ID: TI1566)
- Internal Spearphishing (Lateral Movement, ID:T1534)
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