Phishing is one of the most common methods used to gain access to credentials; however, businesses are increasingly implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) which adds an extra layer of protection and means stolen credentials cannot be used on their own to gain access to accounts. An additional authentication factor is required before access to the account is granted. While any form of MFA is better than none, MFA does not protect against all phishing attacks. There are several popular phishing-as-a-service (PhaaS) platforms that can steal credentials and bypass MFA including LabHost, Greatness, and Robin Banks. For a relatively small fee, any cybercriminal looking to compromise accounts can use the PhaaS platform and gain access to MFA-protected accounts.

A relatively new PhaaS platform has been growing in popularity since its discovery in October 2023 which has been causing concern in the cybersecurity community. Dubbed Tycoon 2FA, the PhaaS platform is being offered through private Telegram groups. Like many other PhaaS platforms, Tycoon 2FA uses adversary-in-the-middle (AiTM) tactics to steal MFA tokens, allowing access to be gained to accounts. The phishing kit uses at least 1,100 domains and has been used in thousands of phishing attacks.

Like most phishing attacks, initial contact is made with end users via email. The messages include a malicious link or a QR code. QR codes are popular with phishers as they communicate a URL to the end user and are difficult for email security solutions to identify as malicious. To ensure that the malicious URLs are not detected by security solutions, after clicking the link or visiting the website via the QR code, the user must pass a security challenge (Cloudflare Turnstile). The web page to which the user is directed targets Microsoft 365 or Gmail credentials. The user’s email address is captured and used to prefill the login page, and when the user enters their password it is captured and they are directed to a fake MFA page.

The phishing kit uses a reverse proxy server that relays the user’s credentials to the legitimate service being targeted in real-time and similarly captures the session cookie when the MFA challenge is passed. The user is unlikely to recognize that their account has been compromised as they are redirected to a legitimate-looking page when the MFA mechanism is passed. According to the researchers, many different threat actors have been using the kit for their phishing campaigns, with the Tycoon 2FA operators having received almost $395,000 in payments to their Bitcoin wallet as of March 2024. The price of the phishing kit is $120 for 10 days of usage which shows how popular the platform is with cybercriminals.

PhaaS platforms allow cybercriminals to conduct sophisticated attacks and bypass MFA without having to invest time and money setting up their own infrastructure they significantly lower the entry barrier for conducting MFA-bypassing phishing attacks. An advanced spam filtering service such as SpamTitan Plus will help to prevent malicious emails from reaching inboxes, and is an ideal spam filter for MSPs looking to provide the best level of protection for their clients. The SpamTitan suite of email security solutions combines phishing, spam, and antivirus filtering and independent tests show a spam block rate of 99.983% and a malware block rate of 99.51%.

PhishTitan from TitanHQ greatly improves protection against more advanced phishing campaigns such as those that use QR codes. Employees should be provided with regular security awareness training to help them identify and avoid phishing messages, and businesses should consider using phishing-resistant MFA rather than more basic forms of 2-factor authentication that use SMS or one-time passwords, which phishing kits such as Tycoon 2FA can easily bypass.