AhnLab Security Emergency response Center (ASEC) 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 May 21st, 2023 to May 27th, 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 with 79%. 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. The second most collected type was Trojan, which took up 15%. It was then followed by Infostealers (5%) like AgentTesla and Formbook that leaks user credentials saved in web browsers, emails, and FTP clients, then by Downloader (5%), Exploit (3%), and Worm (1%). 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. FakePages were distributed through web pages script (HTM, HTML, SHTML) documents that must be executed with a web browser. Other malware, including Infostealer and downloader, came attached to emails with file extensions including compressed files (RAR, Z, GZ, 7Z, etc.).
Cases of Distribution
The following are distribution cases that occurred during the week from May 21st, 2023 to May 27th, 2023. The cases will be classified into FakePage 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 identical English subject and texts.
|Account Password Warning||Verify.shtml|
|[FedEx®] Delivery Notice – Document Arrival Notice?||Shipping Document_Bill of Lading.Pdf.htm|
|Re：(Scanned) Doc~Original Copy – FYI||Original Shipping document BL, PL, CI_.htm|
|Re: Purchase Order-#3687364||PO_#3687364.shtml|
|[FedEx] Customs Payment Guide (Tax Invoice)||AWB4698559.html|
|Quote Request For New Project LLC||AIS_Purchase Agrmt_pdf.htm|
|Re: Fwd: URGENT: PROOF OF PAYMENT||PROOF OF PAYMENT.html|
|FW:ATTACHED SWIFT COPY 5/18/2023 11:19:22 p.m||Payment copy.html|
|DHL Shipment Document Arrival [AWB#*****378434]||ShippingDocumentDHL.html|
|CIPC Annual Returns-K2023739309 Tracking reference: 9382857991||COR15.1A.html|
|Come on, quickly withdraw your +16817$! The account is not blocked yet||Your_accounts_with_a_balance_of_22988%24_will_be_blocked-1103.pdf|
|SWIFT COPY RECEIPT||PaymentSwiftCopy.html|
|Regarding payment for Po No. : 4500250395||ParcelArrivalShipment.html|
|Re: Congratulations You Have WON !!!||Official Reward Payment Notification.pdf|
|Re: Re:Wire confirmation copy||Wire Confirmation copy.pdf|
|DHL Cargo arrival information [AWB#*****378761]||invoice.html|
|Monthly statement 23/05/23||Statement0523.html|
|Re: Purchase Order||Quote.html|
|Please see the attached document for our paid inv # 10047||Remittance_Statement_90493.htm.|
|Email delivery activity log.||Email delivery activity log.shtml|
|❶ Mailbox Quota almost Full.||entec more storage.html|
|New Quotation Request PO# 220979150/Contract||PO# 220979150_Contract.HTM|
|DHL Shipment Notification – Shipping Document – Shipment Tracking||Original Shipping Doc#393929.pdf.htm|
|Re: Fwd: brass wire(payment advice)||Payment advice.html|
|Unpaid invoices||INVOICE .SHTML|
|Invoice for review from *******@*****e*c.kr||samilenc_invoice3271.html|
|Find Attached For Your Urgent Attention||P1008357421.html|
Case: Malware (Infostealer, Downloader, etc.)
|[DHL] Acceptance of Import Declaration (Payment Before Acceptance) – 787988793436||DHL TAX INVOICE..rar|
|RECEIPT FOR INVOICE MC20230414A (22MAY2023)||RECEIPT FOR INVOICE.rar|
|Request for Quotation 94573-LAR&SAF CAPSA/BIO OILS||RFQ-945730101-B0000005023019.cab|
|Shipment Delivery Address *(Required) contact form||Required contact form..rar|
|RE: RE: FW: 2023/7/24 order shipment||New24 order shipment.docx|
|İş Bankası-19.05.2023 08:00-22.05.2023 07:||53060033570_20230522_08055750_HesapOzeti.pdf.lzh|
|VESSEL : DANICA // PISTON RING + GASKET||DANICA PISTON RING + GASKET.rar|
|RE: REMT 049835 SWIFT MT103||MT103 REF USD .7z|
|FW: Purchase Order Shipped||HOBL_WEB230130599.7z|
|Inquiry for new order||scan.zip|
|Please review your July 2022 offer||PLAYGROUND PROJECT – 2022089928 – KDF.7z|
|Re: Confirmación pedido de compra||nuevo pedido 008794897.xlsx.img|
|Confirming – de pago.||008s06523610054680b6011375030062022.rar|
|RE: Faktur Mei 2023.||PT230522.PDF.rar|
|payment confirmation copy||$153,430.00.pdf.rar|
|RE: Νέα παραγγελία||0324352432563.zip|
|CV Debora Lopez||Curriculum Vitae Debora lopez.zip|
|Complain Case: Issues Of Damaged Goods||Pictures Of Damaged Goods__________________pif.Z|
|DHL Shipment Notification||DHL AWB #5401214457 – 20230526.gz|
|Fw: PAYMENT COPY||20230524.012563647892033.TRF.gz|
|New Order PO-371/2020||PO-37101020-PDF.rar|
|Purchases Order // PO23100080||PO23100080-pdf.gz|
|Purchases Order // PO971100044||PO971100044.gz|
|RE; Advice from Standard Chartered Bank||MT103.xls|
|RE: CONTRACT FOR SUPPLY CONFIRMATION // PO#332022-23||SUPPLY CONTRACT for PO#332022-23.pdf.z|
|RE: New Shipment Order / Urgent Request Approval of Draft Shipping Docs (BL/SZOE23050007)||SHIPPING DOCS.xls|
|RE: NEW SHIPMENT UPDATE // 1688 // ISF DETAILS||BL 1688.pdf.z|
|Re: Petrofac Payment Swift For Overdue Invoices||Payment Swift-pdf.gz|
|Re: URGENT: New Orders (PO#1164031)||PO#1164031.r17|
|Re: super nice photos don’t show||priv-phot.jpg.scr|
|RE:Purchase Order No. I20220052||Order No. I20220052.xls|
|Your latest DHL invoice : KHIR001231448 for ******.shop||KHIR001231448.pdf.z|
The ASEC analysis team has selected keywords that users must look out for, based on the distribution cases above. If these keywords are included in the subject of the email, or if the same characteristics are found, users must exercise strict caution as they may be phishing emails from threat actors.
Keywords to Beware of: ‘Zimbra’
The keyword for this week is ‘Zimbra’ whose login page is used as a disguise for phishing emails. Zimbra is collaborative software with an email server and web client. The threat actor abused Zimbra’s login page to distribute phishing emails and steal the targets’ account credentials. The phishing email discovered recently is designed so that when the user clicks the “Keep My Password” button they are redirected to a phishing site disguised as the Zimbra login page. As such, when entering personal information such as ID and password on a web page, users must check if the address of the page that requires such information is trustworthy.
- Phishing URL: https[:]//walkingmapsqld[.]com/.home/edit/battle/form.php
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 antimalware 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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