Sophisticated Phishing Campaigns

Phishing is a common cyberattack technique that involves tricking users into clicking on malicious links, downloading malicious attachments, or entering sensitive information on fake websites. 

Phishing can affect anyone who uses the internet, but some groups are more vulnerable than others. One such group is hotel guests, who may be targeted by a sophisticated phishing campaign that exploits their trust in online booking services.

According to a report by Akamai, a security vendor, this phishing campaign involves a multi-stage attack that first compromises the hotel’s network and then contacts the hotel’s customers through the booking site’s messaging platform. 

The attacker pretends to be the hotel and asks the customer to re-confirm their credit card details by clicking on a link that leads to a phishing page. The phishing page looks identical to the booking site’s payment page and collects the customer’s personal and financial information.

Sophisticated Phishing Campaigns
Illegitimate message sent through booking platform to intended victim

The report says that this phishing campaign has been active for at least four years and has targeted hotels, booking sites, and travel agents in various regions, especially in Asia.

In the context of cyber attacks, the perpetrator may employ a combination of basic and advanced techniques such as exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities, creating fraudulent digital certificates, and manipulating emotions.

These methods can be highly effective in achieving the attacker’s objectives and can pose significant risks to the targeted organization or system. It is important for businesses and individuals to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to mitigate these threats.


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The attacker also deletes any traces of their activity after stealing the data and avoids targeting the same victim twice.

The report warns that this phishing campaign poses a serious threat to hotel guests, who may lose their personal data, sensitive information, and intellectual property to the attacker. 

Hotel guests are advised to exercise caution and remain vigilant when receiving messages from hotels or booking sites. It is especially important to be wary of urgent requests or payment confirmation requests, according to the report.

Sophisticated Phishing Campaigns
Phishing site mimicking

To ensure the authenticity of messages, the report recommends several measures. These include verifying the sender’s email address, scrutinizing for any typos or grammatical errors, hovering over links to reveal their exact URL, and reaching out to the hotel or booking website for direct confirmation of the request.

According to the report, the phishing campaign showcases the advancement and complexity of phishing attacks. These attacks can take advantage of any possible avenue or weakness to infiltrate individuals who are not aware of the threat.

It is recommended in the report that individuals utilizing hotel amenities, as well as those browsing the internet, remain vigilant and knowledgeable about the indications of phishing. Additionally, reliable security measures and tools should be implemented to ensure online safety.

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Gurubaran is a Security Consultant, Security Editor & Co-Founder of Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.