Phishing Email Uses SurveyMonkey to Steal Employee Microsoft Office Login Credentials
Threat actors are sending phishing emails disguised as SurveyMonkey statements to steal employee Microsoft credentials. The web page contains a link to a malicious form that attempts to steal the reader’s corporate Office 365 account, according to a post by Abnormal Security.
The phishing emails originated from an authentic SurveyMonkey email domain and appear to be an auto-generated billing statement making it less likely that the recipient will suspect a scam. The body of the email contains a link to the real SurveyMonkey website.
In the body of the email is a link cloaked with text. The text reads, “Navigate to access statement.” It’s a link prompting the user to check their billing statement on the SurveyMonkey site. The messaging in the email also informs the reader that this cloaked link is unique to them and not to forward it to anyone else.
If the reader clicks on the link in the email, they are redirected to a page hosted on SurveyMonkey. But on the page is a prompt to click on another link. This link text simply reads, “Billing Statement.” Clicking on this link redirects the reader to a Microsoft SharePoint page. This is the main credential phishing page. The victim is prompted to enter their Office 365 email address and password on the form. If they comply, their login credentials are sent to the hackers and their account is compromised.
Although the email is sent from a legitimate SurveyMonkey domain name (surveymonkeyuser.com) it uses a different reply-to domain. That domain is only one month old -which is suspicious by itself. The email simulates an automated notification with a link to open the “survey”. This link is an actual SurveyMonkey link that redirects to the main phishing page.
What is SurveyMonkey?
SurveyMonkey is a cloud-based software as a service company. It is used by businesses for file sharing and to host surveys.
Threat actors often use legitimate services like SurveyMonkey to launch cyber attacks. Email security tools often detect suspicious links in emails. By sending the emails from a legitimate business, they are more likely to bypass scam email filters and other security measures.
How Can I Protect Myself from this Phishing Scam?
- Inspect all links in emails and on web pages carefully. The URL is not visible in this scam, so it is not obvious that it was redirecting the reader away from SurveyMonkey. Readers can hover over links and look at them without actually clicking on the link. This helps this scam bypass email phishing security filters.
- The reader is redirected with a malicious link on the Microsoft SharePoint form. Use a reliable anti-malware app to detect suspicious links and fraudulent web pages.
- Scrutinize what the web page is asking for. There is no reason to enter your email password into any survey.
- Safeguard your personal data (birthdate, passwords) like they are money
Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers