Attackers are increasingly using techniques to prevent their phishing pages from being detected by security firms, a new report from BlueVoyant has found. The report found that in 2022 there was a 240% increase in phishing pages that attempted to redirect potential security researchers and bots away from the sites.
Redirecting Threat Hunters
“One of the more complicated ways threat actors evade detection involves multiple redirect paths, steering consumers to spoofed domains while redirecting presumed threat hunters or phishing analysts to an error page,” the report says. “These evasion mechanisms include User Agent or IP restrictions and blacklisting, with significant emphasis placed on bot and crawler detection. The purpose of this type of redirection is to hide the phishing content on a single website by diverting threat hunters elsewhere, i.e. the target's official domain, a google search, etc.”
Threat actors are also taking advantage of dynamic DNS providers to quickly spin up phishing pages on the cheap.
Dynamic DNS, Phishing Without a Domain
“Dynamic DNS hosting providers are particularly popular among threat actors because they provide a convenient platform to easily set up and host multiple phishing pages without having to register a domain,” the researchers write. “BlueVoyant has been tracking phishing activity leveraging this infrastructure since 2021, and found that 67% of all phishing attacks were hosted on dynamic DNS infrastructure by the end of that year, demonstrating the infrastructure’s quick adoption and massive scale of use.”
BlueVoyant has also observed a steady increase in SMS phishing (smishing). The researchers warn that attackers can buy SMS gateway scripts from criminal markets, then abuse legitimate SMS gateway providers to send out thousands of smishing messages.
“To carry out a successful smishing attack, threat actors require an automated tool that can send SMS messages in bulk,” the report says. “SMS gateway scripts are sold on the deep and dark web as all-inclusive solutions, which are rather easy to operate, and require very little technical knowledge.”
New-school security awareness training can enable your employees to thwart phishing attacks that bypass security technologies.
BlueVoyant has the story.