New Scam Impersonates QuickBooks to Steal Credentials, Extract Money

Phishing as a Service Platform Financial InstitutionsEstablishing urgency through a false need to “upgrade” or lose services, this new attack takes advantage of the widespread use of the popular accounting app to attract victims.

Impersonation in phishing attacks only works if the target has an established rapport or relationship with the sender. And in the case of QuickBooks, there are about 8 million targets worldwide – large enough to send out mass emails and allow those that don’t use the software to self-filter, leaving the customers to determine whether they are going to be a victim or not.

This latest scam was identified by security researchers at Avanan. What’s particularly interesting about this scam is its methods used to establish urgency. Take a look at the email used:


Source: Avanan

The email is about upgrading and the tone is one of urgency. It quickly establishes that the recipient needs to upgrade or they’ll lose services like payroll or the account’s data. It also uses the color red (which naturally grabs our attention).

Lastly, in the example above, note how this email scam changes mediums, requiring the victim to call a phone number – a relatively recent tactic used to remove the victim from an environment where security solutions can continue to assist in detecting malicious activity. The phone number is associated with a scam where callers are socially engineered into giving up their credit card details for the “upgrade."

This type of scam could just as easily be one that targets someone working in accounts payable impersonating a vendor, making it important to educate all users of scams like these with continual security awareness training.

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