Hackers target Three customers with "sophisticated" phishing scam

Cyber criminals use elements from Three’s style and links out to its website

Three UK

Cyber criminals are posing as UK mobile network operator Three as part of a sophisticated phishing campaign designed to extract the financial details of its customers.

Related Resource

Cyber security for accountants

3 ways to protect yourself and your clients online

Download now

The attack relies on a well-spoofed HTML document that entices Three customers to hand over everything from their password and personal details to credit card and payment information. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

The opportunistic phishing attack campaign, spotted by the Cofense Phishing Defence Centre, appears to be exploiting a sudden rise in demand for data services amid the global coronavirus pandemic. 

The volume of cyber crime exploiting the confusion and economic uncertainty around the crisis has generally increased, with attacks targeting businesses, hospitals and even the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Users are first informed of a bill payment that couldn’t be processed by their bank before they’re invited to download the HTML file ‘3GUK[.]html’ to edit billing information to avoid service disruption.

The attached file then requests login credentials, along with personal and payment information. Alarmingly, the file has cloned actual Three HTML code, and has pulled styling elements from the Three website to appear genuine.

The ‘smoking gun’, according to the researchers, lies in the action attribute of the HTML form element, confirming that any information provided is processed by the ‘processing.php’ script found at a compromised third-party web domain.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

The metadata examined by Cofense suggests the email address ‘online@three[.]co[.]uk’ is the apparent source, though on closer inspection it appears far from legitimate. 

“The SPF check shows this was the address provided in the SMTP MAIL FROM command,” the researchers said. “We also see a SoftFail result for the originating IP 86.47.56.231; this means the domain of three.co.uk discourages, but does not explicitly rule out, this IP address as a permitted sender.”

“In other words, the SPF records for the domain of three[.]co[.]uk contain the ~all mechanism, which flags but ultimately lets the email through. 

The phishing campaign is the latest in a string of opportunistic attacks that tend to exploit the zeitgeist. In this instance, Vodafone revealed last week that demand for its data services has surged by at least 50%, an increase likely also seen by its competitors. 

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/cyber-security/356289/australia-announces-135b-investment-in-cybersecurity
cyber security

Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security

30 Jun 2020
Visit/security/phishing/356287/area-1-security-raises-25-million-in-growth-funding
phishing

Area 1 Security raises $25 million in growth funding

30 Jun 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/355791/cyberpeace-institute-urges-governments-to-work-together-to-stop
cyber security

Governments urged to work together to stop health care cyber attacks

26 May 2020

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/google-android/356373/over-2-dozen-additional-android-apps-found-stealing-user-data
Google Android

Over two dozen Android apps found stealing user data

7 Jul 2020
Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/cloud/356260/the-road-to-recovery
Sponsored

The road to recovery

30 Jun 2020