Hello again readers! Today's blog post deals with a phishing email that was sent to my Yahoo! email address that I received two days ago, allegedly from DHL. Interestingly enough the Symantec web filtering that Yahoo! uses did not block the attachment. As you can see, it is purposefully misnamed a few times. I cannot speak to the implementation of Symantec that Yahoo! uses, but I would love to know more about how it works if anyone has a contact at Yahoo!
The email came from the Display Name "sales company", and was titled "from DHL customer service". The file contained an attachment "[DHL Express tracking] (1).pdf-3.zip" (md5: 86915fae2dd82e039aab70c64ff1f5ef) (SHA256: 109f10822f89acf1a70665d7628173bc9c58c6f4d327bdbd0ca368e675f965c9). Maybe you were expecting a shipment from DHL, so maybe this email would not seem out of the ordinary to you. Hopefully the fact that the file has both a .PDF and .ZIP file extension raised a flag of caution and you recognized this as phishing, but let's proceed as if nothing odd was noticed.
|Original email, purportedly from "DHL". I believe the Norton/Symantec logo means the attachment was checked and passed a test, but not exactly sure what that test entails|
Looking at the full header, we see that the email was sent from the email address "email@example.com". I am pretty sure that an organization such as DHL would not use a Hotmail account to send tracking information, but once again, let us continue down the analysis path.
|Email header of the DHL email|
When we download the file, we can see that it is indeed not a PDF, but it is actually a .zip file. It also looks like it will create an .html file when we unzip it, which is exactly what happens.
|Hex Workshop view of [DHL Express tracking] (1).pdf-3.zip|
|Unzipped file, now named "[DHL Express tracking] (1).pdf.html"|
When opening the web page, we are presented with yet another classic sign of attempted phishing, a "DHL" webpage that requests your email address and password. Hopefully this is alarming enough and you do not put in any information.
|This is the web page that is displayed when you open the html file|
Now that we have a web page, let's explore the formatting of it a bit. The icons for various email providers at the bottom are odd (why is "eBay" there?), especially on what is supposed to be a legitimate DHL page. Additionally, does any legitimate web page use Comic Sans MS font?
When we look at the file in a text editor, we can see that the email address and password are required. We can also see that the page has an ironic meta tag, and the actual domain where your email address and password will be sent to.
|Viewing "[DHL Express tracking] (1).pdf.html" in Notepad++|
Just for fun, I entered the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and the password "password" into the text box.
|Fake email address and password|
Unfortunately after entering my "email address" and "password", I was redirected to the DHL home page. I had hoped the creators of this phishing email would have at least displayed a message stating "We are sorry, we cannot find your package in our database" or something similar, but all that happened was a basic redirect to the real, legitimate DHL home page.
|After all that, a simple redirect to DHL. Darn!|
The moral of this blog post is to be wary of phishing email attempts. Most companies will never ask for your email address or password with regards to looking up information, especially in an unsolicited like this. Be sure to watch out for things like misspellings, odd looking icons, mismatched file extensions, and files with multiple extensions ("shipping.exe.doc.pdf.zip.scr"). If you feel that you are unsure about an email, ask a member of your IT or information security staff. Also do not hesitate to reach out to the "sender" of the email directly with a phone call, to make sure that it is legitimate.
If you would like to look at the file, I just uploaded it to virusshare.com (might take a little while to process) as well as submitting it to VirusTotal (5/57 detections).