Hackers are exploiting Adobe Creative Cloud to harvest user credentials

Hacker Typing
(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. While a discerning user may notice the spelling and formatting errors, those in a hurry might click through without thinking. If they do, they are then redirected to a classic credential harvesting page hosted outside of Adobe Creative Cloud where they're prompted to log in and in doing so, give up their email address and password 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 working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.