October 15, 2019 By David Bisson 2 min read

New corporate phishing attacks are mimicking the performance appraisal processes at targeted companies to steal employees’ business account credentials.

According to Kaspersky Lab, these corporate phishing attacks begin when an employee receives an email supposedly from human resources informing them of a performance appraisal. The attack email contains a link that redirects recipients to a primitive website instructing them to log in, wait for an email with additional instructions and select one of three options for a performance appraisal. The bad actors who created the phishing landing page even added an “I agree to the Privacy Policy” checkbox to lend an additional sense of legitimacy to their attacks.

Users who fill out the form send their username, password and email address to the attackers. The appraisal ruse then comes to an abrupt end, with the victim never receiving the promised follow-up email.

Corporate Phishing Is Nothing New

The technique described above is just the latest corporate phishing trick employed by fraudsters.

Back in August 2018, Avanan was the first to spot bad actors using SharePoint files to host phishing links. A year later, Bleeping Computer observed bad actors using Microsoft voicemail notifications to trick recipients into opening HTML attachments that redirected them to phishing landing pages.

Then, this past September, Heimdal Security discovered a spear phishing campaign launched by the Gorgon advanced persistent threat (APT) that used the lure of an invoice to infect European organizations with samples of a data-stealing malware family.

How Can Security Teams Help Defend Against a Phishing Attack?

Security professionals can help defend against phishing attacks by using multifactor authentication (MFA) and conditional access to compensate for the risks associated with password-based authorization and account takeover fraud. They should also seek to integrate phishing intelligence with their security information and event management (SIEM) tools to detect potential security incidents and improve the incident response times.

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