T1598.003 Spearphishing Link Mappings

Adversaries may send spearphishing messages with a malicious link to elicit sensitive information that can be used during targeting. Spearphishing for information is an attempt to trick targets into divulging information, frequently credentials or other actionable information. Spearphishing for information frequently involves social engineering techniques, such as posing as a source with a reason to collect information (ex: Establish Accounts or Compromise Accounts) and/or sending multiple, seemingly urgent messages.

All forms of spearphishing are electronically delivered social engineering targeted at a specific individual, company, or industry. In this scenario, the malicious emails contain links generally accompanied by social engineering text to coax the user to actively click or copy and paste a URL into a browser.(Citation: TrendMictro Phishing)(Citation: PCMag FakeLogin) The given website may be a clone of a legitimate site (such as an online or corporate login portal) or may closely resemble a legitimate site in appearance and have a URL containing elements from the real site. URLs may also be obfuscated by taking advantage of quirks in the URL schema, such as the acceptance of integer- or hexadecimal-based hostname formats and the automatic discarding of text before an “@” symbol: for example, hxxp://google.com@1157586937.(Citation: Mandiant URL Obfuscation 2023)

Adversaries may also link to "web bugs" or "web beacons" within phishing messages to verify the receipt of an email, while also potentially profiling and tracking victim information such as IP address.(Citation: NIST Web Bug)

Adversaries may also be able to spoof a complete website using what is known as a "browser-in-the-browser" (BitB) attack. By generating a fake browser popup window with an HTML-based address bar that appears to contain a legitimate URL (such as an authentication portal), they may be able to prompt users to enter their credentials while bypassing typical URL verification methods.(Citation: ZScaler BitB 2020)(Citation: Mr. D0x BitB 2022)

Adversaries can use phishing kits such as EvilProxy and Evilginx2 to proxy the connection between the victim and the legitimate website. On a successful login, the victim is redirected to the legitimate website, while the adversary captures their session cookie (i.e., Steal Web Session Cookie) in addition to their username and password. This may enable the adversary to then bypass MFA via Web Session Cookie.(Citation: Proofpoint Human Factor)

From the fake website, information is gathered in web forms and sent to the adversary. Adversaries may also use information from previous reconnaissance efforts (ex: Search Open Websites/Domains or Search Victim-Owned Websites) to craft persuasive and believable lures.



Capability ID Capability Description Mapping Type ATT&CK ID ATT&CK Name
AC-04 Information Flow Enforcement Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
CA-07 Continuous Monitoring Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
CM-02 Baseline Configuration Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
CM-06 Configuration Settings Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
IA-09 Service Identification and Authentication Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
SC-20 Secure Name/address Resolution Service (authoritative Source) Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
SC-44 Detonation Chambers Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
SC-07 Boundary Protection Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
SI-03 Malicious Code Protection Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
SI-04 System Monitoring Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
SI-08 Spam Protection Protects T1598.003 Spearphishing Link
DEF-IR-E5 Incident Response Technique Scores T1598.003 Spearphishing Link