A phishing campaign is exploiting a large number of .top domains, according to researchers from WhoisXML API. In an article for CircleID, the researchers analyzed a phishing operation first uncovered by security researcher Dancho Danchev.
“Our DNS deep dive into the phishing campaign led to the discovery of 5,245 unreported potentially connected threat artifacts, a majority of which were .top domains,” the researchers write.
A number of the identified domains appeared to be designed to spoof popular brands and banks.
“While none of the IP-connected domains were dubbed malicious, at least two may be suspicious,” the researchers write. “Asicskids[.]com and tomfordeyewear[.]com, which bear popular fashion brand names, couldn’t be publicly attributed to ASICS and Tom Ford, respectively, based on WHOIS record comparisons with the legitimate companies’ official domains. We also noticed the appearance of the string bank in five of the IP-connected domains. While only three seem to be mimicking legitimate banks—grandbank[.]cn, nanjingbank[.]com[.]cn, and ruifengbank[.]com—all five could be weaponized for phishing.”
Most of the domains were generic top-level domains (gTLDs), including .top, which accounted for more than half of the phishers’ domains.
“Further scrutiny of the 4,284 domains showed that a majority of them, 2,237 to be exact, sported the .top top-level domain (TLD) extension as Danchev pointed out.,” the researchers write. “The .wang (282), .xyz (268), .pub (261), .bid (236), .mobi (202), .xin (129), .com (116), .cn (109), and .gift (91) TLD extensions completed the top 10. The remaining 354 domains were spread across 27 other TLD extensions.”
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