FBI Finds Phishing Sites Abusing Search Results and Ads to Steal Banking Credentials



Abuse Search Results to Promote Phishing SitesThe US Federal Bureau of Investigation has sent out a private industry notification (PIN) warning that cybercriminals are using search engine ads and search results to spread phishing sites that impersonate banking websites. The FBI says this campaign has been running since March of 2021, although the Record notes that this technique has been in use since at least last year. A researcher from FireEye told the Record that multiple threat actors are using search engine ads to share their phishing sites.

The threat actors in this case used both search engine ads and natural search engine results to promote their malicious sites. The phishing sites in this campaign ask users to enter their credentials, phone numbers, and security question answers.

“In both versions of the scheme, the spoofed portal prompted customers to enter account credentials and telephone numbers, and to answer security questions,” the PIN states. “These actions failed to grant access, at which point the account holder would receive a telephone call from the cyber actor who falsely claimed to represent the financial institution. While this individual occupied the customer in a lengthy process purported to restore account access, an associate would access the financial institution’s legitimate portal using the customer’s stolen credentials and initiate wire transfers from the account. Victims subsequently learned about the illicit transfers from the financial institution or when they eventually logged into the correct portal.”

The FBI added that this campaign has been very successful at turning a profit.

“The schemes resulted in illicit ACH transfers amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial losses,” the Bureau said.

Criminals will always find new ways to get their phishing sites in front of users. New-school security awareness training with simulated phishing attacks can enable your employees to avoid falling for phishing and other social engineering attacks.

The Record has the story.


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