The Bizarro Streaming Site That Hackers Built From Scratch 

Fake landing pages are already a staple of cybercriminal trickery. Scammers have created hundreds of Netflix and Disney+ knockoffs in recent years. The BazaLoader group has made phony sites before too, including a convincing impersonation of a lingerie retailer. But BravoMovies really does go above and beyond.

“We have not seen an entire fake streaming site created before,” says Sherrod DeGrippo, senior director of threat research and detection at Proofpoint. “This is a creative next level of social engineering.”

The details on the BravoMovies site don’t always hold up to close scrutiny, but they give at least a light veneer of credibility to the enterprise. The homepage boasts of not only HD but “Full HD” and 4K streams. Its category offerings are familiar, even if the titles are decidedly not. It advertises mainstream perks like downloads for offline viewing and compatibility with a range of devices (including, confusingly, Blu-ray players).

To create convincing thumbnail posters of films, the attackers raided design-focused social network Behance for images, along with an advertising firm and a book called How to Steal a Dog. The results tilt toward the absurd, but honestly not much more so than what you might find at the bottom of your Netflix queue.

Screenshot: Proofpoint

To the extent that errors do jump out, well … maybe they do for you. “We’ve seen phishing pages that are built on free website builder sites and look like a child made them, and those are still successful,” says Hassold. “If someone has gotten to the point that they’ve made it to this landing page, the small spelling errors that most people would likely see and that would raise a red flag are probably not going to move the needle very much.”

resources
review
right here
secret info
see
see here
see here now
see it here
see page
see post
see this
see this here
see this page
see this site
see this website
sell
she said
site
site web
sites
sneak a peek at these guys
sneak a peek at this site
sneak a peek at this web-site
sneak a peek at this web-site.
sneak a peek at this website
sneak a peek here
source
[source]
sources tell me
speaking of
special info
straight from the source
such a good point
super fast reply
take a look at the site here
talking to
talks about it
that guy
the
the advantage
the full details
the full report
the original source
their explanation
their website
these details
they said
this
this article
this contact form
this content
this guy
this hyperlink
this link
this page
this post
this site
this website
top article
total stranger
try here
try these guys
try these guys out
try these out
try this
try this out
try this site
try this web-site
try this website
try what he says
try what she says
understanding
updated blog post
url
us
use this link
via
view
view it
view it now

The scope of the campaign remains unclear, as does its ultimate goal. As a backdoor, BazaLoader acts as a sort of staging area for more purpose-built malware that comes later. Think of it as the Bifröst bridge of Norse legend, but offering passage for ransomware rather than surly Viking gods. ProofPoint says it hasn’t detected whatever that second-stage payload is, but BazaLoader is closely linked to the group behind the notorious Trickbot malware.

The complexity of the BravoMovies method also has its drawbacks. While it’s handy for getting around email protections, it’s easier to get people to click than to call. “Because it relies so much on human interaction—that is, someone to actually pick up the phone and make a call—there is a lower likelihood of the recipient engaging with the threat actor,” says ProofPoint’s DeGrippo. She adds that the BazaLoader group typically sends tens of thousands of emails in a given campaign, with broad targeting across geographies and industries.

Still, the fact that they put in so much time and effort indicates that, despite the intricacies of the scheme, it must be working. There are more exciting heist plots out there. But points, at least, for originality.


More Great WIRED Stories