Remember when everyone used to praise Gmail for being the safest emailing service in the world? Well, while that used to be true, especially compared to how much of a security nightmare other once-popular services like Yahoo Mail have become, it seems that Gmail has finally met its match. A very effective and highly sophisticated phishing scam has reportedly hit the beloved platform, and it seems that hackers managed to steal a lot of account info through it.
The scam unfolds in the following way. First, you get a message from a seemingly trustworthy contact, and they ask you to open a Google Doc. Naturally, because you trust the person that sent you this, you might be tempted to click on it. If you do, you are asked for permission by an app that looks strikingly similar to Google Docs, to the point that it’s almost identical. The requested permissions include reading, sending, deleting and managing your emails and contacts.
While nothing happens to you as a user immediately after this, the hackers now have total control of your Gmail account. Because of how well put together the entire thing is, it is spreading rapidly and a lot of accounts have been affected by it already.
How to Avoid Being Hacked
If you were wondering how to avoid being scammed by this hacker group, it’s very simple: just don’t open this type of links if you receive any. If you need to receive something via Google Docs from someone, ask them first in a real life context (not over email) if they have control of their account and if they sent that email. Google are working hard and have already managed to shut down some of the phishing pages used by the attackers, but nobody is safe just yet.