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Massive Phishing Campaign Targets Latin American Countries: ESET

Massive Phishing Campaign Targets Latin American Countries: ESET

The Zimbra Phishing Campaign: A Growing Threat

In recent months, the popular collaborative software platform Zimbra Collaboration has become the target of a significant phishing campaign. Cybercriminals have been specifically targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and government entities, with the potential to impact approximately 200,000 businesses worldwide. Despite not being highly sophisticated, this phishing campaign has successfully compromised organizations using Zimbra Collaboration, making it an attractive target for adversaries.

The Vulnerability of Tight IT Budgets

One reason why Zimbra Collaboration is an attractive target for cybercriminals is the expectation that organizations with tighter IT budgets are more susceptible to cybersecurity breaches. This phishing campaign has cast its net over multiple countries in Latin America and the European Union, with Poland experiencing the highest number of attacks, followed by Ecuador and Italy. Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Brazil have also been heavily impacted by cyberthreat attempts.

The Anatomy of the Phishing Operation

The phishing operation begins with an innocuous-looking email, often with urgent subject lines such as server updates or account deactivation warnings. The attacker impersonates email server administrators to increase the credibility of the email. Victims are then prompted to click on an HTML attachment, which serves as the entry point for the attack. Upon opening the attachment, victims encounter a meticulously forged Zimbra login page that mimics their organization’s branding. While the page appears authentic within the victim’s web browser, the URL suggests authenticity, even though it redirects to a local path. When victims input their credentials into the falsified HTML form, the attacker efficiently extracts this information. The credentials are then transmitted via an HTTPS POST request to the attacker’s server, completing the cyberattack cycle.

No Industry Vertical Discrimination

The Zimbra phishing campaign does not discriminate based on industry verticals. The only common thread among the victims is their reliance on Zimbra’s software. This highlights the global deficiency in cybersecurity awareness within organizations. Studies have shown that 85% of all data breaches are caused by employee mistakes, increasing the probability of falling victim to phishing cyberattacks.

Addressing Vulnerabilities and Promoting Cybersecurity Resilience

The Zimbra phishing campaign serves as a reminder that even reputable platforms are not immune to exploitation. Organizations, especially in countries like Mexico, should prioritize information sharing, educate their employees about phishing threats, and implement robust security measures to safeguard against such attacks. By proactively addressing vulnerabilities and cultivating a culture of cybersecurity resilience, countries like Mexico can mitigate the risks posed by evolving cyberthreats and emerge as more secure and resilient digital ecosystems.


The Zimbra phishing campaign has targeted small and medium-sized enterprises and government entities relying on the Zimbra Collaboration platform. Despite the campaign’s lack of sophistication, it has successfully compromised organizations worldwide. This highlights the vulnerability of organizations with tighter IT budgets and the need for increased cybersecurity awareness. By promoting information sharing, educating employees, and implementing robust security measures, organizations can protect themselves from phishing attacks. It is crucial for countries to address vulnerabilities and foster a culture of cybersecurity resilience to mitigate the risks posed by cyberthreats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can organizations protect themselves from phishing attacks?

A: Organizations can protect themselves from phishing attacks by promoting cybersecurity awareness, conducting employee training programs, implementing multi-factor authentication, and regularly updating their security measures.

Q: Are reputable platforms like Zimbra Collaboration immune to exploitation?

A: No, even reputable platforms like Zimbra Collaboration are not immune to exploitation. Cybercriminals continuously find new ways to breach security systems, making it essential for organizations to stay vigilant and implement robust security measures.

Q: How can countries like Mexico enhance their cybersecurity resilience?

A: Countries like Mexico can enhance their cybersecurity resilience by promoting information sharing among organizations, educating the public about cyber threats, investing in cybersecurity infrastructure, and fostering collaboration between government agencies and the private sector.