Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5118
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-18
A Security Bypass Vulnerability exists in TBOOT before 1.8.2 in the boot loader module when measuring commandline parameters.
CVE-2019-12422
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-18
Apache Shiro before 1.4.2, when using the default "remember me" configuration, cookies could be susceptible to a padding attack.
CVE-2012-4441
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-18
Cross-site Scripting (XSS) in Jenkins main before 1.482 and LTS before 1.466.2 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML in the CI game plugin.
CVE-2019-10764
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-18
In elliptic-php versions priot to 1.0.6, Timing attacks might be possible which can result in practical recovery of the long-term private key generated by the library under certain conditions. Leakage of a bit-length of the scalar during scalar multiplication is possible on an elliptic curve which m...
CVE-2019-19117
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-18
/usr/lib/lua/luci/controller/admin/autoupgrade.lua on PHICOMM K2(PSG1218) V22.5.9.163 devices allows remote authenticated users to execute any command via shell metacharacters in the cgi-bin/luci autoUpTime parameter.