Sophos researchers, who have been specializing in the security of IT systems for quite a long time, have identified and described a new type of phishing attack that is characterized by an extremely atypical design- namely, the absence of links in the email text.


Such a non-standard approach significantly advanced the attackers in deceiving even highly doubtful users who did not recognize the threat in such mailing messages.


Usually, the standard mechanism of the algorithm of a typical phishing approach schematically consists of three stages:

– the end user receives a special email with an embedded link leading to a fake site;

– when you click on the phishing link specified by the user, a web page opens where you are asked to enter confidential data in the proposed form;

– with the user’s consent and entering their confidential data, this information is transmitted via a special parser to a remote target server, where it is structured for access to the administrator – which is what the mailing organizers wanted.

This new type of phishing attack, which is currently being discussed, uses an HTML attachment in the body of the email itself. Since the HTML file is not executable, even the most suspicious users can easily open it and get to the cloned page of the site. Then the rest of the algorithm for obtaining data is completely similar to the “classic” method.


The main feature of this type of attack is that users can’t pre-check the link that is being redirected from the HTML file.


Therefore, an expert group of researchers do not recommend opening such attachments, and it is mandatory to activate two-factor authorization on any device and introduce the use of special web filters into your regular use.

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