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Not So Safe Safelinks

Today I got a phishing email for my gatech account. It was nothing special and easy to identify as phishing. So why blog about it? Because today I decided to test out safelinks. Why not, right? It's Microsoft, and they make a habit of telling me that I should use Edge because it is safer than Chrome and Firefox.

I clicked on the safelink that was hosted on and it opened in Edge. Wait, why did I have to hit a European safelink server Microsoft, if I am in the USA? I don't remember authorizing you to do that, but then again, who cares about us in the US.

The safelink redirected successfully to which is a shameless phishing site. It pulls resources from but has a self hosted JS file that has the same URL path as the one in the buzzport login page. It's a clever phish and it would likely defeat most users.

So that made me mad. I put on my Cyber cape and started to dig. The IP is hosted on AWS:


Of course it is, because Bezos doesn't seem to give a crap about people using his elastic network for crime. I could send email to AWS like I've done in the past, but all I would get is another form letter saying they would look into it. Yeah, good job. High five.

I tried whois on ICANN and didn't get anything. It's got private registration of course. Wouldn't really matter these days since GDPR pretty much erased most of the registry data for non-US people. Again, nobody cares about people from the US these days.

Just to note, Chrome correctly identifies the site as a phishing site and it stops my navigation. Firefox? Yeah, same thing. Edge? nope, not with safelinks and not without (direct navigation per se).

Why does it matter that my safelink server was in Europe? Well, it was actually in the UK; I did a tracert from my windoze box to see where it lead:


 17   593 ms   409 ms   199 ms []0
18   189 ms   198 ms   199 ms []

That's NY to London.  Ian Flemming would be so proud. I will leave it up to you to infer where that link was leading and why. Just remember there is some alphabet agency that buys stuff from another alphabet agency ... Maybe, lads, you could offer us some useful service when you take our browsing history. Maybe a service to prevent us from being attacked by b-rate hackers. I am sure you'll knock on my door again, wearing those nifty Sherlock Holmes outfits. Oh, note how Outlook can connect to gmail now? Just wanted to drive-by that little tidbit.

Meanwhile, Edge is clearly the loser here. I've stopped using Edge and will continue to relish in my decision to up the security game of my desktop.

I didn't pull their JS as I am not really interested in looking at it. I did look at the header on the email and found another domain:

That one is bound on the same IP as the domain, also on AWS. The email originated out of that domain:

Received: from (HELO ip-10-0-0-204.ec2.internal) ([])
X-PyPhish: Sent via PyPhish

Yeah, PyPhish, a tool given to the internet by Red Team Security? Who knows, but it's another tool that has been polished by professionals and now it's used by criminals. Thanks.

Addendum. I gave SafeLinks another chance. Got a phish email for my hotmail account and went forward with clicking on the SafeLinks link. Guess what? Not blocked by SafeLinks. Good thing both Firefox AND McAfee blocked the redirect site and labeled it as Malicious Rating: RED.

Come on Microsoft. You can do better than this. At least that SafeLinks proxy url was in North America instead of Europe.

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