Don't Fall for This Google Docs Phishing Scam
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
Did you click on an unsolicited Google Docs email invite yesterday? It might have been a scam.
According to Vice's Motherboard, online miscreants on Wednesday launched a "massive phishing campaign targeting Google accounts." The "highly sophisticated" campaign appears to have hit a number of journalists, along with individuals from other industries, the report notes.
The fraudulent emails include what appears to be a Google Doc link from someone the recipient knows. "These, however, are malicious emails designed to steal your Google password or hijack your account," Motherboard advises.
Reddit user JakeSteam, who received the phishing email, said clicking the purported Google Docs button in the message takes you to an actual Google page, which asks you to grant access to an app masquerading as Google Docs. Granting permission would give the attacker full access to your email messages and contacts. The email then replicates itself and spreads to "everyone you have ever emailed," according to JakeSteam.
Affected individuals who clicked "allow" should revoke access to the fake Google Docs app right away, JakeSteam recommends.
The attack can bypass two-factor authentication, so having that additional layer of security enabled won't help you. Note that it's still a good idea to have two-factor authentication enabled, as it makes your account much harder to crack.
Google did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment. But in a statement posted to the @GoogleDocs Twitter account, the company said "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."
This phishing campaign comes after attackers in January targeted Gmail users with a sophisticated ploy designed to steal usernames and passwords.