A phishing campaign has been spotted that misuses Google Translate to make the phishing webpage seem to be an official login page for Google.
The phishing emails in the campaign are similar to several other campaigns that have been run in the past. The messages have the subject “Security Alert” with a message body almost identical to the messages sent by Google when a user’s Google account has been accessed from an unknown device or place. The messages contain the Google logo and the text, “A user has just signed in to your Google Account from a new Windows appliance. We are transmitting you this electronic mail to confirm that it is you.”
Below the text is a clickable button with the text “Consult the activity.” Clicking the link will direct the user to a website that has a spoofed Google login box. If identifications are entered, they will be sent to the scammer.
The electronic mails are sent from a Hotmail account – firstname.lastname@example.org – which is the first warning sign that the electronic mail notification is a fraud. On desktop browsers, the URL that users are directed to is obviously not official. A further indication that this is a fraud.
Nevertheless, the scam will not be so clear to any user on a mobile appliance. If the button in the electronic mail is clicked, the user will be directed to a phishing webpage that is served through Google Translate. The visible part of the URL in the address bar begins with translate.googleusercontent.com/translate, which makes the URL seem genuine. The use of Google Translate may be adequate to see the electronic mails bypass mobile safety defenses and the evidently official Google domain is likely to fool a lot of users into thinking the webpage is genuine.
If the user enters their Google identifications in the login box, an electronic mail is generated which transmits the identifications to the attacker. The user is then redirected to a bogus Facebook login page where the attackers also try to get the user’s Facebook login identifications.
The second attempt to phish for login identifications is easier to identify as fake as an old login box for Facebook is used. However, but at that point, the user’s Google account will already have been compromised.
The scam was recognized by Larry Cashdollar at Akamai.