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
Election Websites, Back-End Systems Most at Risk of Cyberattack in Midterms
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/14/2018
Intel Reveals New Spectre-Like Vulnerability
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/15/2018
Australian Teen Hacked Apple Network
Dark Reading Staff 8/17/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-14981
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-17
Certain LG devices based on Android 6.0 through 8.1 have incorrect access control for SystemUI application intents. The LG ID is LVE-SMP-180005.
CVE-2018-14982
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-17
Certain LG devices based on Android 6.0 through 8.1 have incorrect access control in the GNSS application. The LG ID is LVE-SMP-180004.
CVE-2018-15482
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-17
Certain LG devices based on Android 6.0 through 8.1 have incorrect access control for MLT application intents. The LG ID is LVE-SMP-180006.
CVE-2018-15473
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-17
OpenSSH through 7.7 is prone to a user enumeration vulnerability due to not delaying bailout for an invalid authenticating user until after the packet containing the request has been fully parsed, related to auth2-gss.c, auth2-hostbased.c, and auth2-pubkey.c.
CVE-2018-15471
PUBLISHED: 2018-08-17
An issue was discovered in xenvif_set_hash_mapping in drivers/net/xen-netback/hash.c in the Linux kernel through 4.18.1, as used in Xen through 4.11.x and other products. The Linux netback driver allows frontends to control mapping of requests to request queues. When processing a request to set or c...