Google warns of phishing email scam

Elizabeth Williams
May 7, 2017

In a statement posted on Twitter, Google said: 'We have taken action to protect users against an email impersonating Google Docs, and have disabled offending accounts. "We've removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing, and our abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again".

The hack has been successful as it appears so genuine, posing as an email from someone you know inviting you to view a Google Doc. We'll keep an eye on the situation and report on any further developments. This invitation requests you to open the file in Google Docs.

On Wednesday afternoon, "Google Docs" was a global trending topic on Twitter, meaning a lot of people were talking about the attacks.

Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says anyone who clicked on the link should check their Google App permissions and remove the one called "Google Docs". It also instructed users to report any phishing activity via Gmail. Invite recipients are BCC'd in the email.

If you get a Google Doc link in your inbox today, scrutinize it carefully before you click-even if it looks like it comes from someone you trust. You can do so by clicking on the drop down menu in the upper right-hand corner of the email, then select 'Report Phishing'.

"If you have clicked on the link, go to your Google account's page (https://myaccount.google.com/permissions) where you can manage the permissions you've granted to apps (or go through the whole Google Security Checkup)". Because the malicious app looked legit, it essentially tricked users into trusting it with their security token - which is all that was needed to access the accounts.

Don't fall for the new phishing scam.

What should I do if I clicked through? If you think you were affected, be sure to check and update your security settings.

You can verify it by checking the title for developer information.

Apparently, users have been getting malicious mails with link to a Google Doc file, clicking on which opens up a Google.com page that seems authentic at first.

Phishing attacks are never pleasant, but by staying vigilant and going with your gut on suspicious emails, you can better protect yourself against future scams.

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