Microsoft on the Most Complicated Phishing Attacks in 2019

In its annual report, Microsoft talked about an increase in the number of phishing attacks. There are some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the total number of ransomware and other malware has decreased. The bad news is that the number of detected phishing attacks has increased by 0.4% in one year. In its blog, the company talked about the three most complicated phishing attacks that were discovered this year.

The First Attack

The first attack was a multi-level campaign as a result of which cybercriminals poisoned Google search results. The fraudsters sent web traffic intercepted from legitimate sites to their own resources. Once they got into the top of Google search results by keywords, criminals used to send emails with links to these search results to the victims. The users would click on the similar link and then on a popular search result, and they would be taken to a site where they were redirected to a phishing page.

The Second Attack

Scammers used malicious 404 user pages to carry out fraudulent attacks. In this campaign, attackers used links to the pages that didn’t exist. During link scanning, Microsoft security systems detected a 404 error and considered it safe, when in reality, the users were redirected to a malicious website. The constant change of domain allowed attackers to create a large number of phishing URLs.

The Third Attac

This phishing campaign was the implementation of MitM attacks. Attackers stole the logo, banner, and text from the Microsoft website and, using all these collected things, created their own phishing site that looked exactly the same. Next, phishers sent emails with URLs that imitated authorization pages. The victims had the impression that they were on a legitimate page. However, the URL that was displayed in a browser address bar could give a trick.