A very sophisticated phishing campaign has targeted around 1 billion users of Gmail globally.
This is a huge scam that is hitting the Internet and attacking anyone all over the world with a Gmail account. Millions of users of Gmail might have already been compromised due to the phishing attack, which enables the hackers to take control over the email account of the user. Many employees of large organizations started reporting on social media that they had been on the receiving end of such a malicious email.
Controlling Gmail Accounts
The worm first seeks to get control over the email history of the user and then spreads to other contacts, according to Google. The worm arrived in the inbox of the user in the form of an email received from a legitimate contact. It then asks the user to check out the Google Docs file or the GDocs file that is attached to the email. When the user clicked on the attached link, he or she was taken to an authentic Google security site page and the user was requested to allow permissions for the scan application. The app was a fake one and was posing to be Google Docs. It was then used for managing the email account of the user.
Not only does the fake app seek and obtain control over the Gmail account of the compromised device, it also sends the attack to the contacts of the affected user, through Gmail or other means. In this way, the app reproduces about hundreds of times with a single victim.
Havoc for Users
This kind of strategy used in phishing attacks is quite normal, but the campaign that was released yesterday has created havoc on millions of devices due to its sophisticated nature. The link is malicious but it looks and appears trustworthy and creditworthy. In addition, the email comes from a contact that the user already knows, with the payload manipulating the actual login system of Google.
Google Takes Action
Google has stated that it has disabled the attacked accounts and also offered updates to all its users. The vulnerability remained for around one hour and according to a representative’s statement to the NBC News, the attack had affected only 0.1% of users of Gmail, but this also makes the figure come to around one million. The spokesperson stated that the phishing campaign accessed the contact information of the victim, but no other data was accessed.
The phishing campaign on the Gmail accounts could have been a possible calamity as far as the victims of the attack were concerned. The worm was able to control the Gmail accounts of the victims. As a result, the scammer can obtain personal data of the user and all the mails in the sent mail and inbox categories. This would allow the scammer or scammers to send requests for resetting passwords on other services as well. For example, they could attempt resetting passwords on the user or victim’s Amazon account, Facebook account and other financial online accounts.