Google warns of phishing scam that impersonates Google Docs

We encourage users to report phishing emails in Gmail.

Internet users everywhere are being spammed with what appear to be malicious invitations to log on to their Google accounts.

"We have taken action to protect users against an email impersonating Google Docs, and have disabled offending accounts", a Google spokesperson told Threatpost.

The attack used a relatively novel approach to phishing, a hacking technique created to trick users into giving away sensitive information, by gaining access to user accounts without needing to obtain their passwords.

Users are asked to click on the link, which ultimate gives the hackers behind the attack access to the contents of their Google accounts, including email, contacts and documents. Do not click the link. The app accesses all your contacts and sends them a similar fate. When the reset emails arrive, the malware can then respond to them and delete the message before you even see it, giving hackers control of your online identity.

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If you've recently received a Google Docs email from a contact that you know, you might want to clarify with them if they really sent it to you.

"This is a very serious situation for anybody who is infected because the victims have their accounts controlled by a malicious party", said Justin Cappos, a cyber security professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says anyone who clicked on the link should check their Google App permissions and remove the one called "Google Docs". Many of those domains have been taken down; Google also quickly updated Safe Browsing and Gmail with warnings about the phishing emails and attempts to steal personal information.

Google is working to address the issue.

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