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Hackers are exploiting Adobe Creative Cloud to harvest user credentials

Home News Computing (Image credit: Shutterstock) Hackers have come up with a new way to leverage the popularity of Adobe Creative Cloud to bypass email security solutions and harvest user credentials.Beginning in December of last year, Checkpoint-owned Avanan observed a new wave of hackers creating Adobe accounts for nefarious purposes. After creating an account, the…


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(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Hackers have come up with a new way to leverage the popularity of Adobe Creative Cloud to bypass email security solutions and harvest user credentials.

Beginning in December of last year, Checkpoint-owned Avanan observed a new wave of hackers creating Adobe accounts for nefarious purposes. After creating an account, the hackers then import a PDF file into Adobe’s cloud storage which contains links to sites used to harvest the credentials of unsuspecting users.

By sharing files containing malicious links using Adobe Creative Cloud, attackers are able to appear legitimate to potential victims while also ensuring that their emails will be able to bypass Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and other endpoint protection software.

Hiding credential harvesting pages

In a new blog post, Avanan explains that these attacks begin with an innocent-looking PDF sent via Adobe Acrobat and shared with a user over email. These emails arrive directly from Adobe and a sense of urgency is instilled by an attacker to trick potential victims into opening them.

When a user clicks “Open”, they are redirected to a fake Adobe Document Cloud page where they’ll need to click on another button to access their document. A discerning user might notice spelling and formatting mistakes, but those in hurry may click on the button to access their document. They are then directed to a traditional credential harvesting page outside of Adobe Creative Cloud. There they will be prompted to log into and, in doing so, provide their password and email address to an attacker.

Over the course of last few weeks, Avanan has observed thousands of these attacks including 400 in 2022 alone.

To avoid falling victim to this and other similar attacks, end users should carefully inspect all Adobe Creative Cloud pages for grammar and spelling, hover over links to ensure the intended page is legitimate and ensure their antivirus software can open PDF files in a sandbox and inspect all links contained within them.

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Anthony Spadafora

After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal and TechRadar. Since childhood, he has been an avid tech geek and spent many hours researching, tinkering and tweaking mobile phones, PCs and gaming consoles.

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