New Phishing Method Discovered in Recent Cyber Attacks | Don’t Get Hooked!

The rapid advancements in technology have greatly contributed to the remarkable progress of human civilization, offering countless modern conveniences. However, as technology continues to evolve, it opens doors for individuals with malicious intent to constantly seek new avenues for exploitation. Unfortunately, one such method employed by these individuals is phishing through email spam.

A Dangerous New Phishing Method that Nobody Talks About Yet

Phishing, in simple terms, refers to the act of sending deceptive emails containing harmful links or attachments, intending to deceive recipients into thinking that these emails originate from reliable sources. This type of cyber attack is widespread and has been prevalent since the 1990s, coinciding with the widespread adoption and use of the internet, often catching unaware average internet users off guard.

Just recently, in July 2023, a rising trend has been observed in which cyber attackers utilize email spam disguised as legitimate companies to infiltrate the inboxes of unsuspecting email users. These emails appear innocent and harmless, asking users to review new documents they have received, among other things. Hence, the birth of a new phishing method.

To better illustrate this new trend, here is an example of such a phishing email:

In the example above, these are the red flags indicating that this is a malicious email:

  1. The above-left image shows an email from mindfolnest, but the content of the email is a DocuSign document.

  2. When you hover your mouse over the yellow box (which contains hyperlink) on the above-right image, it does not link you to a DocuSign link which contradicts the content of this email.

  3. Instead, the yellow hyperlink box shows a URL link with multiple redirections. This link, when clicked, takes the user through a series of successive web page redirects before finally landing on the intended destination page.


By utilizing this redirection method, phishing emails can effectively bypass spam filters, enabling them to infiltrate the inboxes of unsuspecting email users. The initial URL link displayed in the email may appear legitimate, giving the impression that it leads to a trusted website – in this case. However, upon clicking the link, the user is redirected multiple times before reaching the final malicious destination.

This new phishing method is employed by cyber attackers to deceive users into believing they are interacting with a genuine and trustworthy website, increasing the likelihood of users willingly divulging sensitive information, such as login credentials, personal data, or financial details. The attacker will also be able to steal your internet cookies, user-agent and device information, which they can use to impersonate legitimate users, carry out identity theft, perform unauthorized activities on compromised accounts, or tailor their attacks to exploit specific vulnerabilities.

It is hence essential for users to exercise caution and remain vigilant when interacting with email links, especially if the links:

  • Involve multiple redirections
  • Show a different domain from the Sender’s domain
  • Have 2 domains in a single link
  • Include “codesandbox”


Verifying the legitimacy of the email, double-checking the URLs, and avoiding providing personal information unless absolutely certain about the authenticity of the website are some of the recommended precautions to mitigate the risk of falling victim to phishing attacks.

4 Recommended Solutions to Fortify Your Email Security

To help email users combat this new phishing threat, here are four future-proof solutions you can consider:

  1. Spam Filter
    The most fundamental form of protection against phishing is to deploy a spam filter – a software or system designed to automatically identify and filter out unsolicited or unwanted email messages, commonly known as spam. It employs specialized filtering techniques to analyze the email content and the identities of the senders.

  2. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
    ZTNA is an advanced network security approach that operates on the principle of least privilege and continuous verification. In a Zero Trust model, users and devices are never automatically trusted, regardless of their location or network status. ZTNA aims to enhance network security by providing a dynamic security approach that offers improved protection against advanced threats and insider attacks. It adds a layer of security, ensuring that even if a user clicks on a document for review, ZTNA will monitor the link for potential malware and provide the necessary protection.

  3. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Solution
    SIEM is a robust security solution designed to assist organizations in identifying and mitigating potential security threats and vulnerabilities proactively, minimizing the impact on business operations. It can track security-related incidents in the IT environment, such as suspicious downloads or failed logins. It then examines the incident, sends out alerts and generates comprehensive security reports, thus helping organizations improve their security posture and incident response capabilities.

  4. Appoint a Reliable Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)
    Partner with a trusted MSSP and leverage their expertise, professional tools, and services to safeguard your IT environment. An MSSP possesses extensive experience in handling cyber attacks and is better equipped with vast resources to effectively address present and future security threats.


5 Major Services A Managed Security Service Provider Offers:

MSSPs play a vital role in safeguarding organizations against cyber security threats and bolstering their overall cyber defence. They employ a comprehensive, multi-layered defence strategy to protect organizations from external threats like network intrusions or malware but also safeguard against security breaches caused by employee actions. Their services include but are not limited to:

  1. Incident Investigation and Response
    In the event of a security breach, security experts address the threat instantly, evaluate the extent of the damage, and determine the source of the attack.

  2. Penetration Testing and Phishing Assessment
    A comprehensive understanding of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your IT infrastructure is essential for effective security. Phishing assessments and penetration testing protect against security threats for your organization.

  3. Security Awareness Training
    It is crucial to educate your organization's employees about the strengths and weaknesses of your security system and empower them to defend against hackers. Reliable MSSP ensures that your employees stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.

  4. Advanced Security Solutions
    These security measures include anti-malware software, managed firewalls, web filtering, intrusion detection, multi-factor authentication, access management, and patch management.

  5. Dedicated Security Analysts
    MSSPs employ specialists who identify critical flaws in your IT infrastructure and recommend security measures to mitigate the risk of a security breach.


Adventus, A Cyber Security Solutions & Services Provider You Can Trust

Adventus is a top Cyber Security Solutions & Services Provider with our own Security Operations Centre (SOC). Our elite SOC team is diligently monitoring, detecting, and responding to any cyber security risks or threats in our customers’ environments, this includes the phishing threats we have discussed in this article. Adventus offers a comprehensive suite of solutions to defend against cyber-attacks and lets you drastically reduce implementation efforts, cost, and maintenance requirements. To enhance your organization's cyber security, reach out to us today and assure your corporate team that their data is safe.

Adventus is an award-winning Managed Services Provider, who was named the Best IT Services Provider by Singapore Business Review at the National Business Awards for six consecutive years from 2018 till 2023.

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