Too Much Caffeine? Phishing-as-a-Service Makes Us Jittery

Recently, investigators at Mandiant discovered a new software platform with an intuitive interface. The service has tools to orchestrate and automate core campaign elements. Some of the platform’s features enable self-service customization and campaign tracking. 

Sounds like a typical Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) operation, right? Well, this time, it’s Caffeine, the latest Phishing-as-a-Service (PhaaS) platform. A basic subscription costs $250 a month; all you need is an email to sign up.

How Caffeine PhaaS is Different

PhaaS vendors advertise and sell their products as phishing kits. A phishing kit includes everything required to launch a successful phishing attack, such as email templates and even templates for rogue websites to send victims to. Some phishing kits also include lists of potential targets.

As per Mandiant, what makes Caffeine different from most other PhaaS offerings is its low barrier of entry. To sign up for Caffeine services, only an email is required. Unlike Caffeine, other PhaaS platforms typically only communicate through referrals, underground forums or encrypted messaging. Also, Caffeine provides email templates directed at Russian and Chinese targets, which is unusual for PhaaS.

Other Caffeine features include:

Tools to orchestrate and automate phishing campaigns
Self-service phishing kit customization
Capability to manage intermediary redirect pages and final-stage lure pages 
Dynamic URL generation for hosted malicious payloads 
Ability to track campaign email activity
Caffeine news feed: announces feature updates and expansions of accepted cryptocurrencies.

According to Mandiant, the average PhaaS platform costs from $50 to $80, making Caffeine relatively expensive. Caffeine may be pricier due to its unlimited customer service support options and its extensive anti-detection and anti-analysis features. 

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