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.

Free Phishing Security Test

Would your users fall for convincing phishing attacks? Take the first step now and find out before bad actors do. Plus, see how you stack up against your peers with phishing Industry Benchmarks. The Phish-prone percentage is usually higher than you expect and is great ammo to get budget.

PST ResultsHere's how it works:

  • Immediately start your test for up to 100 users (no need to talk to anyone)
  • Select from 20+ languages and customize the phishing test template based on your environment
  • Choose the landing page your users see after they click
  • Show users which red flags they missed, or a 404 page
  • Get a PDF emailed to you in 24 hours with your Phish-prone % and charts to share with management
  • See how your organization compares to others in your industry

Go Phishing Now!

PS: Don't like to click on redirected buttons? Cut & Paste this link in your browser:


Subscribe to Our Blog

Comprehensive Anti-Phishing Guide

Get the latest about social engineering

Subscribe to CyberheistNews