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Attackers Continue to Abuse Google Sites and Microsoft Azure to Host Cryptocurrency Phishing

Sep 15 2022

Resumen

On August 9, 2022, we released a blog post about a phishing campaign where attackers were abusing Google Sites and Microsoft Azure Web Apps to steal cryptocurrency wallets and accounts from different targets, namely Coinbase, MetaMask, Kraken, and Gemini. The attackers were abusing SEO techniques to spread the pages and using advanced techniques to steal data, such as using live chats to interact with victims.

Over the past month, the attackers responsible for the phishing campaign have proven to be resilient to take-downs. Most of the URLs we found in August are still active and the attacker is taking measures to keep the operation online. Furthermore, we found new phishing pages with the same targets disclosed in the initial research, and new phishing pages mimicking Binance, Crypto.com, Gate.io, KuCoin, PancakeSwap, and Shakepay

We found the following target distribution analyzing the URLs hosted on Google Sites:

Graph showing the percentage of phishing targets represented in this research

In this blog post, we will provide a follow up to the blog post we released in August, showing what has changed since then.

How the attack works

  1. The victim searches for a cryptocurrency website using specific keywords (e.g. “have MetaMask account”) and the phishing page is displayed first or among the first results.
  2. The first phishing page mimics the original website and contains a lot of elements to boost SEO. This stage redirects the victim to another phishing website via links within the page.
  3. The second phishing page tries to steal sensitive information, such as the cryptocurrency account credentials or secret recovery phrases.
  4. The last page also comes with a live web chat where the attacker interacts with the victim, likely to steal more sensitive data.
Cryptocurrency phishing attack flow summarydiagram

Attacker’s resilience

Analyzing the URLs we found in August, we noticed that over the past month:

  1. All of the URLs used in the second stage were taken down;
  2. 75% of the first stage URLs remain online, and for those URLs the attacker either:
    1. Removed the second stage URL;
    2. Added a new online second stage URL.

The Google Sites information banner indicates that the attacker is constantly updating the first stage pages.

Screenshot of. Change history from multiple phishing pages.
Change history from multiple phishing pages.

In summary, the attacker is replacing the Microsoft Azure URLs with new ones to remain operant. Also, in some cases the attacker just removed the offline URL instead of adding a new one, likely to avoid the user being redirected to an offline page that was flagged as phishing while they are working to get another page online.

New targets

Aside from the companies we have previously identified, we found new Google Sites URLs for Binance, Crypto.com, Gate.io, KuCoin, PancakeSwap, and Shakepay

These new URLs all follow the same attack pattern, using Google Sites to mimic the original website. However, only the Crypto.com phishing page contains a second stage URL at this point. All of the other pages were either redirecting the user to the original website being mimicked or not redirecting anywhere. It’s unclear whether the attacker is still developing the second stage for the other targets or if they were already taken down and removed from the page. 

Crypto.com

This phishing page works the same as the others, by mimicking the original website in the first stage, created with Google Sites.

Screenshot of Crypto.com phishing created with Google Sites.
Crypto.com phishing created with Google Sites.

It then redirects the victim to the second stage, hosted with Microsoft Azure Web App, to a page that tries to steal the user’s credentials.

Screenshot of Crypto.com phishing created with Microsoft Azure Web App.
Crypto.com phishing created with Microsoft Azure Web App.

After entering the username and password, the webpage requests the victim’s phone number.

Screenshot of Crypto.com phishing requesting the victim’s phone number.
Crypto.com phishing requesting the victim’s phone number.

After entering the phone number, the page shows a fake error message and asks the victim to contact them via web chat, which is the same behavior found previously.

Screenshot of Crypto.com phishing displaying a fake error message.
Crypto.com phishing displaying a fake error message.

Binance

Below, is an example of a website hosted on Google Sites that mimics Binance.

Screenshot of Website mimicking Binance, following the same phishing pattern.
Website mimicking Binance, following the same phishing pattern.

Gate.io

Below, is an example of a website hosted on Google Sites that mimics Gate.io.

Screenshot of Website mimicking Gate.io, following the same phishing pattern.
Website mimicking Gate.io, following the same phishing pattern.

KuCoin

Below, is an example of a website hosted on Google Sites that mimics KuCoin.

Screenshot of Website mimicking KuCoin, following the same phishing pattern.
Website mimicking KuCoin, following the same phishing pattern.

ShakePay

Below, is an example of a website hosted on Google Sites that mimics ShakePay.

Screenshot of Website mimicking Shakepay, following the same phishing pattern
Website mimicking Shakepay, following the same phishing pattern

PancakeSwap

Below, is an example of a website hosted on Google Sites that mimics PancakeSwap.

Screenshot of Website mimicking PancakeSwap, following the same phishing pattern.
Website mimicking PancakeSwap, following the same phishing pattern.

New URLs, Same Targets

Additionally, we found 66 new Google Sites URLs with the same targets disclosed in the first research, which are Coinbase, MetaMask, Kraken, and Gemini.

We also found a new template used for MetaMask phishing.

Screenshot of MetaMask phishing page created with Google Sites.
MetaMask phishing page created with Google Sites.

The second stage works exactly like the ones we spotted previously, but it’s using a new template as well.

Screenshot of Second stage of MetaMask phishing, hosted with Microsoft Azure Web App.
Second stage of MetaMask phishing, hosted with Microsoft Azure Web App.

The “Import Wallet” button leads to a modal that asks for the secret recovery phrase for MetaMask.

Screenshot of Modal asking for the secret recovery phrase
Modal asking for the secret recovery phrase

The “Sign In” option contains some slight differences compared to the phishing we spotted previously, but it has the same goal of stealing the victim’s credentials.

Screenshot of MetaMask phishing trying to steal user’s credentials.
MetaMask phishing trying to steal user’s credentials.

It also comes with the same live chat feature we previously mentioned, but this time it opens in a popup window.

Screenshot of Popup window with a live chat between the attacker and victim.
Popup window with a live chat between the attacker and victim.

According to the information button provided by Google Sites, this page was likely changed on August 23, 2022.

Conclusiones

Based on this additional research, we believe attackers will continue to use this pattern, as they can create multiple accounts in these cloud services and easily replicate the phishing templates using different URLs. Also, by dividing this phishing in two stages (Google Sites and Microsoft Azure), the attackers are creating more resilience, since they can simply replace an offline URL to another one to keep the operation online.

Netskope strongly recommends users to directly access the website they are trying to reach instead of searching or clicking on any links throughout the internet. For organizations, we also recommend the usage of a secure web gateway, capable of detecting and blocking phishing in real time.

Protección

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/crypto-coinexchange.com/geminiexchangee/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/cryptocomlog.com/crypto-com-login/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/365cryptocurrencies.com/coinbasewallet/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/365cryptocurrencies.com/kucoin-logi/

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/365cryptocurrencies.com/kucoinucentersignin/

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/askmewallet.com/binancewalletextension/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/askmewallet.com/geminilogin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/askmewallet.com/pancakeswaplogin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/askmewallet.com/shakepaylogin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/askscryptous.com/coinbaselogin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/askscryptous.com/coinbasewallet/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/askscryptous.com/geminisignin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/askscryptous.com/metamask-login/home

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

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/askscryptous.com/metamasksignin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/askscryptous.com/metamaskwalletlogin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/bitcoinbasepro.com/coinbaselogincom/

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/coinbasecom.org/coinbaselogin/home

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

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/coinbselogin.com/coinbaselogin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/coindesklogin.com/coinbase-wallet/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/coinlogins.com/coinbase-down/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/coinsprologin.com/coinbasewallet-login/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/crypto-coinexchange.com/binance-exchange/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/crypto-coinexchange.com/coinbaseexchange/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/crypto-coinexchange.com/krakenexchange/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/crypto-coinwallet.com/coinbase-wallet/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/crypto-coinwallet.com/coinbasewallet/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/crypto-coinwallet.com/geminiwallet/home

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

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/cryptobitwallets.com/metamasksignin/home

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

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/cryptocom-login.com/cryptocomloginin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/cryptocomlog.com/cryptocom-login/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/cryptologn.com/coinbaseprologin

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

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/cryptologn.com/metamasksignin

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/cryptowalletbit.com/blockfi-wallet/home

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

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/cryptowalletts.com/pancake-swap/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/csscrypton.com/crypto-login/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/ecryptowalletpay.com/coinbase-wallet-login/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/gateiolog.com/gateiologin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/kucoin-log.com/kucoinlogini/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/kucoinguide.com/kucoinlogin/

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/kucoinguide.com/kucoinloginsignin/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metamaskexts.com/metamaskloginn/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metamaskios.com/metamask-login/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metamaskios.com/metamasksignin/home

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

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

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metanimasklogin.com/metamasksignin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metmasklogin.com/metamask-extension/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metmasklogin.com/metamask-login/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metmasklogin.com/metamaskio-wallet/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/metmsk-logi.com/metamasksignin/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/meutmask-log.com/metamaskwallet/home/

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

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/myprowallets.com/metamask-extension/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/usacoinlogin.com/metamasksignin/home/

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/view/coinbasewallett/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/view/gemini-login-usa/

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/view/gemini-login-usa/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/view/geminiexchangee/

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/view/geminiwallet/

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/view/metamask-extention/home

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/view/metamaskloginwallet

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/view/metamaskwalletloginus/

hxxps://sites.google[.]com/view/metamaskwallt/home

Second stage URLs

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

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

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

hxxps://coianasbe-wkalle.azurewebsites[.]net/

hxxps://coinasnbe-walle.azurewebsites[.]net/

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

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

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

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

hxxps://maataamaask.azurewebsites[.]net/

hxxps://mamametamask-walle.azurewebsites[.]net/

hxxps://metidismakskklo.azurewebsites[.]net/

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

hxxps://mmetatsamasks-walle.azurewebsites[.]net/

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.