Attacks/Breaches

5/3/2017
07:30 PM
100%
0%

Google Docs Phishing Attack Abuses Legitimate Third-Party Sharing

Phishing messages appear nearly identical to legitimate requests to share Google documents, because in many ways, they are.

Google users today were hit with an extremely convincing phishing spree launched by attackers who manipulated Google Docs' legitimate third-party sharing mechanism.

Targets received messages with the subject like "[Sender] has shared a document on Google Docs with you" often from senders they knew. The messages contained links, which led to a page that clearly requested access to the user's Gmail account. If the target user provides access, the attack begins sending spam to all the user's contacts. Theoretically, the attacker could also access the victim's messages and steal sensitive data, but thus far there have been no reports of such activity.

Because it takes advantage of Google's legitimate third-party sharing mechanism, the phishing message is much more difficult to identify as malicious. The icons and messaging are familiar to Google users. Gmail itself did not filter the messages as phishing or flag them as spam, but rather sent them to Gmail users' "Primary" inbox mail folders. The senders were familiar enough to have the target in their contact lists.

One way to spot the attack: some targets report that the message includes a recipient with an address that begins "hhhhhhhhhhhhhh" and ends with the domain "mailinator.com."  

Google responded with a fix and issued a statement

"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. We encourage users to report phishing emails in Gmail. If you think you were affected, visit http://g.co/SecurityCheckup"

Those who have already fallen victim to this attack should also go to their Google account permissions settings and revoke access to the false "Google Docs" application. They're also advised to set up two-factor authentication.

Read more here.

 

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
12 Free, Ready-to-Use Security Tools
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  10/12/2018
Most IT Security Pros Want to Change Jobs
Dark Reading Staff 10/12/2018
6 Security Trends for 2018/2019
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  10/15/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Flash Poll
The Risk Management Struggle
The Risk Management Struggle
The majority of organizations are struggling to implement a risk-based approach to security even though risk reduction has become the primary metric for measuring the effectiveness of enterprise security strategies. Read the report and get more details today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-13399
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
The Microsoft Windows Installer for Atlassian Fisheye and Crucible before version 4.6.1 allows local attackers to escalate privileges because of weak permissions on the installation directory.
CVE-2018-18381
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
Z-BlogPHP 1.5.2.1935 (Zero) has a stored XSS Vulnerability in zb_system/function/c_system_admin.php via the Content-Type header during the uploading of image attachments.
CVE-2018-18382
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
Advanced HRM 1.6 allows Remote Code Execution via PHP code in a .php file to the user/update-user-avatar URI, which can be accessed through an "Update Profile" "Change Picture" (aka user/edit-profile) action.
CVE-2018-18374
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
XSS exists in the MetInfo 6.1.2 admin/index.php page via the anyid parameter.
CVE-2018-18375
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
goform/getProfileList in Orange AirBox Y858_FL_01.16_04 allows attackers to extract APN data (name, number, username, and password) via the rand parameter.