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COVID-19 Phishing Update: Promise of Payments Fuel Financial Fraud

Posted by Jessica Ellis on Apr 7, '20

Cyber criminals are using the stimulus bill and relief payments to exploit growing concerns about financial security. The examples below are impersonating financial institutions. 

We are providing ongoing updates on coronavirus-themed attacks observed by the PhishLabs team. This post and others are meant to help the security community stay up-to-date on how threat actors are exploiting the pandemic. 

amex payment waived lure redacted

The first example spoofs the sender’s address to target a medical center. The actual email address uses a domain that is used for delivery scams no-reply@delivery-25871[dot]info created at hXXp://delivery-25871[dot]info/.

The threat actor abuses Google Docs to increase the likelihood of bypassing spam filters hXXps://[dot]com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSUi-1GT3Xa4[redacted]

The redirect leads to a phishing site that has been taken offline. hXXp://[dot]php

HSBC lure redacted

In the second example, the threat actor uses the spoofed sender’s address security@[redacted]relief[dot]com.

The link leads to downed credential phishing site hXXp://theprplanet[dot]com/client_image/.flv/COVID19[redacted]/.

amex lure redacted

The last example also spoofs the sender’s name. The actual address is

Claim Now leads the victim to a banking phish hXXp://lle.grupovanguardia[dot]mx/[redacted]-covid19cash/index{dot}php

Questions around relief during the pandemic make enterprises susceptible to coronavirus-themed fraud. Malicious lures posing as stimulus funds, waived-fees, and credits are particularly compelling as some financial institutions are offering help to those experiencing hardship during the pandemic. 

For more intelligence on COVID-19 threats, see our ongoing coverage.

Topics: COVID-19

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