As February began this year, researchers observed a 232% upsurge of email impersonations in LinkedIn, wherein threat actors spoof victims’ display names and stylised HTML templates to trick people into clicking phishing links and inputting their sensitive credentials upon being redirected into fraudulent sites.
For those who have been using LinkedIn, it has been customary to see phrases such as “You appeared in (this number) of searches this week,” “Your profile matches this job,” and so on. With the same email subject lines, hackers have exploited the platform’s email notifications to bait victims into entering malicious phishing sites.
Security researchers explained that the threat actors used many stylised HTML templates, such as the LinkedIn logo within the phishing email’s content, to spoof the platform in a believable way as possible. To further make the emails look legitimate and convincing, threat actors also include the names of other familiar companies.
Once the phishing link is clicked and the victim enters their LinkedIn credentials on the redirected fraudulent site, the threat actors will be able to harvest it and be utilised in further cybercrime activities.
A LinkedIn spokesperson has shared their statement regarding the issue and said that their ‘Help Center’ could help users identify phishing threats. They also added that their internal teams are determined to combat threat actors that attempt to harm LinkedIn members, including with the threats of phishing scams.
If LinkedIn users receive suspicious emails, it is highly advised to report them to the LinkedIn team to have the malicious emails observed. Their security team also helps users learn more about protecting themselves against cybersecurity threats.
Many people are actively looking for new jobs regularly within LinkedIn; hence, it is alarming how threat actors take advantage of the platform to victimise job hunters or professionals. Furthermore, since people can be too thrilled to open job opportunities sent on their emails, they could thoughtlessly open the phishing links sent by threat actors.
The phishing attacks probed by researchers were found to be capable of bypassing security defences. Aside from organisations being advised to enhance their security measures more, users must also be extra cautious with opening emails found on their inboxes and be wiser to determine whether an email is authentic or a phishing threat.