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Phishing scammers target PayPal in very well crafted attack, Proofpoint finds

By Sara Barker
Tue 7 Feb 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and scammers are finding increasingly cunning ways to capitalise on the reach and popularity of the world’s global brands. This time PayPal is the target, according to Proofpoint.

The company recently discovered a phishing email message which looked like a benign PayPal login, but in reality it was a “very well crafted” phishing webpage. The page is available in multiple languages, which makes it seem all the more legitimate and across many different regions.

Behind the scenes, the phishing attack turned out to be complex and sophisticated, and Proofpoint says those are the real innovations.

The phishing attempts feature embedded URLs that direct users to the fake PayPal login.

Users who attempt to log in are dragged further into the phishing net, which only accepts genuine PayPal accounts. This is done using a decommissioned PayPal service that allows a person to buy a gift card from a user. The phishing attack then starts with a ‘reassuring welcome page’, Proofpoint says.

Users are then asked to confirm the credit card information. After the phishing kit validates the card, it asks users to enter security information about the card, the link to their bank account and details and identification.

After proceeding through a complete set of personal and financial information, the user then completes the scam and is directed to the genuine PayPal website.

Proofpoint says that the particular phishing kit shows how ‘crimeware as a service’ is rapidly advancing, and will become a more common technique.

Proofpoint says it has notified PayPal of the phishing campaign and the findings. 

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