Resecurity warns that the Smishing Triad threat actor has “vastly expanded its attack footprint” in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The researchers believe the goal of the campaign is to steal personal and financial data from Emirati citizens: “The group typically sends out malicious text messages from iCloud accounts they have previously hijacked, while masquerading as reputable organizations like government agencies, financial institutions (FIs), and shipping firms.”
One of the distinctive features of this social engineering campaign is its use of geofencing for a broad yet targeted approach.
“The assessment that ‘Smishing Triad’ is hyper-targeting victims in the Emirates is further supported by the group’s geo-filtering of smishing page access to UAE citizens only. Resecurity specifically observed this geo-fencing of IP addresses in smishing lures cast out to impersonate the Emirates Post, the UAE’s official parcel delivery service. In fact, UAE-focused fraud campaigns imitating official Emirates Post communications were first confirmed in May, according to local news reports.”
The threat group’s activity affords another case study in the value of compromised accounts and illegally accessed databases.
“‘Smishing Triad’ is also leveraging compromised Apple iCloud accounts and illegally obtained databases that contain the personally identifying information (PII) of UAE citizens to stage their attacks. Specifically, the threat actor acquires UAE resident databases from the Dark Web and launches their smishing attacks from iCloud accounts they have previously compromised. Resecurity has already alerted and shared relevant information with the national Computer Emergency Response Team for the United Arab Emirates (AeCERT).”
The threat group is a player in the criminal-to-criminal market, offering its smishing kits for sale on Telegram to other cybercriminals.
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Resecurity has the story.