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Abusing Google Sites and Microsoft Azure for Crypto Phishing

Aug 09 2022

Summary

Throughout 2022, Netskope Threat Labs found that attackers have been creating phishing pages in Google Sites and Microsoft Azure Web App to steal cryptocurrency wallets and accounts from Coinbase, MetaMask, Kraken, and Gemini.

These phishing pages are linked from the comment sections of other websites, where the attacker adds multiple links to the phishing pages, likely to boost SEO and drive victims directly to these pages. The main goal of this campaign is to steal cryptocurrency exchange accounts or recovery phrases, which allows the attacker to import existing crypto wallets.

In this blog post, we will analyze these phishing pages to demonstrate how they work.

How is it spread?

We found that most of these phishing pages are linked from the comment sections of other websites, mostly blogs. The attacker adds links to one or more phishing websites, where the URL contains elements to boost SEO.

Screenshot of cryptocurrency phishing pages being spread in other websites.
Cryptocurrency phishing pages being spread in other websites.

These comments are posted by random accounts, and sometimes there are multiple links leading to different phishing pages.

Screenshot of a comment leading to cryptocurrency phishing pages.
Commentary leading to cryptocurrency phishing pages.

Furthermore, the attackers are using these SEO techniques to make the phishing pages appear as the first result on search engines, like Google.

Example of phishing page appearing as the first result for “have MetaMask account” search.
Phishing page appearing as the first result for “have MetaMask account” search.

How does it work?

The main page is hosted with Google Sites and mimics the cryptocurrency website that it’s targeting. In the example below, we will demonstrate how the MetaMask phishing works. The landing page is very similar to the real MetaMask website.

Example of phishing page versus the original website.
Phishing page vs the original website.

The phishing page also contains a fake FAQ, as an additional measure to convince victims that the page is real and to improve SEO.

Screenshot of fake FAQ within the MetaMask phishing page.
Fake FAQ within the MetaMask phishing page.

Once the victim clicks “Download now” or “Login”, the user is redirected to another page hosted with Azure Web Apps.

Screenshot of second stage of the MetaMask phishing.
Second stage of the MetaMask phishing.

For the MetaMask phishing, there are two options. The first one is through the “Import wallet” button, which tries to steal the secret recovery phrase that can be used to steal existing wallets.

Screenshot of phishing page trying to steal the wallet’s secret recovery phrase.
Phishing page trying to steal the wallet’s secret recovery phrase.

And the second tries to steal the username and password.

Screenshot of phishing page trying to steal MetaMask account.
Phishing page trying to steal MetaMask account.

More targets

We also found online phishing campaigns targeting Coinbase, MetaMask, Kraken, and Gemini. All using the same attack flow, by hosting the main page with Google Sites and the second stage with Azure Web App.

Coinbase

Example of Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange phishing
Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange phishing

Gemini Wallet

Example of Gemini Wallet phishing page.
Gemini Wallet phishing page.

Kraken Wallet

Example of Kraken Wallet phishing page.
Kraken Wallet phishing page.

What’s the difference between them?

The difference between these attacks is that the MetaMask phishing also tries to steal the MetaMask security recovery phrase. All of the other phishing pages only try to steal the account credentials. For example, below we have the flow for the Gemini phishing.

Screenshot of Gemini phishing page.
Gemini phishing page.

After inserting the username and password, the victim is redirected to a fake MFA page, which asks for a phone number.

Example of fake MFA page.
Fake MFA page.

After inserting this information, the victim is redirected to a fake error page.

Example of fake page displayed in the Gemini phishing.
Fake page displayed in the Gemini phishing.

The “Ask Expert” button triggers an online chat with the attacker, which requires more information from the victim.

Screenshot ofattacker interacting with the victim through the phishing website.
Attacker interacting with the victim through the phishing website.

If the attacker can’t reach the victim by phone, then they ask if they can access the victim’s machine via TeamViewer.

Screenshot of attacker trying to access the victim’s machine.
Attacker trying to access the victim’s machine.

Conclusions

Attackers are constantly trying to steal cryptocurrency wallets and accounts with elaborate phishing pages, mimicking the real websites, avoiding typos to make the page look real, and even interacting with victims through a live web chat. 

In this campaign, we found that the attackers are abusing Google Sites and Azure Web App to host the pages, likely due to cost, ease-of-use, and to slightly increase the victim’s trust. Also, attackers are using SEO techniques to increase the reach of the phishing sites, making it appear in the first result when the victim searches for the real website.

Netskope strongly recommends users to never enter credentials after clicking on a link. Instead, always navigate directly to the site you are trying to log in to. For organizations, we also recommend using a secure web gateway, capable of detecting and blocking phishing in real time.

Protection

Netskope Threat Labs is actively monitoring this campaign and has ensured coverage for all known threat indicators. Netskope Next Gen SWG inspects all HTTP and HTTPS traffic, using a combination of threat intelligence, signatures, heuristics, and machine learning to identify and block phishing pages in real time.

IOCs

First stage URLs

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/coinbaseloginn.com/changecoinbasepasword/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/coinbaseloginn.com/coinbasenotworking/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/coinlogins.com/geminiwallet/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/coinlogins.com/metamasklogin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/cryptouswallet.com/coinbasewallet

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/cryptouswallet.com/metamaskwallet/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/krakenlogins.com/krakenwallet/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metamask-ios.com/metamask-log-in/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metamask-ios.com/metamask-loginn/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metamask-ios.com/metamask-wallet/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metamask-ios.com/metamaskchrromeextension/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metamask-ios.com/metamasklogin/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/coinbaseloginn.com/changecoinbasepasword/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/coinbaseloginn.com/coinbasenotworking/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/coinlogins.com/geminiwallet/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/coinlogins.com/metamasklogin/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/cryptouswallet.com/coinbasewallet

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/cryptouswallet.com/metamaskwallet/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/krakenlogins.com/krakenwallet/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/metamask-ios.com/metamask-log-in/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/metamask-ios.com/metamask-loginn/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/metamask-ios.com/metamask-wallet/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/metamask-ios.com/metamaskchrromeextension/home

hxxps://web.sites.google[.]com/metamask-ios.com/metamasklogin/home

Second stage URLs

hxxps://coinbcaselogin.azurewebsites[.]net/coin-baselogin/

hxxps://gemninus-logi.azurewebsites[.]net/

hxxps://gemninus-logi.azurewebsites[.]net/error.html

hxxps://gemninus-logi.azurewebsites[.]net/vendor/Sender.php

hxxps://gemninus-logi.azurewebsites[.]net/verify.php

hxxps://kraakesn-log.azurewebsites[.]net/

hxxps://kraakesn-log.azurewebsites[.]net/error.html

hxxps://kraakesn-log.azurewebsites[.]net/vendor/Sender.php

hxxps://kraakesn-log.azurewebsites[.]net/verify.php

hxxps://metamammas-ks.azurewebsites[.]net/

hxxps://metamammas-ks.azurewebsites[.]net/import-with-seed-phrase/

hxxps://metamammas-ks.azurewebsites[.]net/metnna-login/

hxxps://metamammas-ks.azurewebsites[.]net/select-action/

hxxps://metattamsamsk.azurewebsites[.]net/import-with-seed-phrase/

hxxps://metattamsamsk.azurewebsites[.]net/m-error/

hxxps://metattamsamsk.azurewebsites[.]net/m-verify/

hxxps://metattamsamsk.azurewebsites[.]net/metnna-login/

hxxps://metattamsamsk.azurewebsites[.]net/select-action/

author image
Gustavo Palazolo
Gustavo Palazolo is an expert in malware analysis, reverse engineering and security research, working many years in projects related to electronic fraud protection. He is currently working on the Netskope Research Team, discovering and analyzing new malware threats.

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