Yesterday, many Google Docs users were sent an email prompting them to open and edit a file. Sadly, because the invitation came from Google’s legitimate system and because familiar senders were on the “From:” line, tons of users were duped into opening this malicious file, which granted permissions to an external web app named “Google Docs.” By the time a victim clicked through, they’d already handed the phishers access to their email and address book.
In a recent article, The Verge explains exactly how so many people fell victim to this tricky phishing attack. Even if you weren’t among the crowd that clicked on the link, you can prevent future attacks like this by adjusting your Google settings to prevent Google Docs access to Gmail and Google Contacts.
Fortunately, Google’s response to this widespread attack has been quick: “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.”