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
Russia Hacked Clinton's Computers Five Hours After Trump's Call
Robert Lemos, Technology Journalist/Data Researcher,  4/19/2019
Why We Need a 'Cleaner Internet'
Darren Anstee, Chief Technology Officer at Arbor Networks,  4/19/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-11506
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-24
In GraphicsMagick from version 1.3.30 to 1.4 snapshot-20190403 Q8, there is a heap-based buffer overflow in the function WriteMATLABImage of coders/mat.c, which allows an attacker to cause a denial of service or possibly have unspecified other impact via a crafted image file. This is related to Expo...
CVE-2019-8991
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-24
The administrator web interface of TIBCO Software Inc.'s TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM, TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM Distribution for TIBCO Silver Fabric, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Policy Director, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Bus, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid, TIBCO Silver Fabric Enabler for ActiveMatrix BPM, and TIB...
CVE-2019-8992
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-24
The administrative server component of TIBCO Software Inc.'s TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM, TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM Distribution for TIBCO Silver Fabric, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Policy Director, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Bus, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid Distribution for TIBC...
CVE-2019-8993
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-24
The administrative web server component of TIBCO Software Inc.'s TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM, TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM Distribution for TIBCO Silver Fabric, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Policy Director, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Bus, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid, TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid Distribution for ...
CVE-2019-8994
PUBLISHED: 2019-04-24
The workspace client of TIBCO Software Inc.'s TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM, TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM Distribution for TIBCO Silver Fabric, and TIBCO Silver Fabric Enabler for ActiveMatrix BPM contains vulnerabilities where an authenticated user can change settings that can theoretically adversely impact oth...