Beware: Phishing mail doing rounds of cyberworld

By Balamurugan Selvaraj Published on May 04, 2017 01:30 PM IST

Have you received any mail holding a Google Docs link from an unknown person? If you do receive it, don't open it. Because, in the last few hours, journalists, enterprises and individuals are continuously receiving such mails. These were sent by actors with a malicious link to steal credentials of the targeted victim. A mail starting with a quote, '(sender) has shared a document on Google Docs with you' is the phishing mail, which had been shared across the world.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

When you open the mail and click on the link. It redirects you to a page, which requests your permission to read, send, delete e-mails and even access your contacts. If you give the permission to access it, then the attacker will automatically access your mail account without any password.

The links, hosted by Google Docs, doesn't ask permissions to access. But this link is malicious and created by actors. So, be careful, before you allow permission for anything.

HOW BIG IS THE THREAT?

To be honest, this threat seems to be more dangerous than you think. Because, as soon as you grant the permission, it would potentially allow the hackers to access your contacts and account linked sites and services such as Facebook, Twitter and even bank accounts. Also, hackers will send multiple phishing mails to all your contacts to gain control of their accounts. And this goes as a chain.

In the meantime, Google started blacklisting malicious apps, which were used in this phishing attack.

Google tweeted, 'We are investigating a phishing email that appears as Google Docs. We encourage you to not click through and report as phishing within Gmail.'

And now, the chain goes on its own across the millions of Gmail users in multiple organisations and media outlets. If you had granted permission to those malicious links, don't worry. You can reverse your permission from Google Docs by the following method:

* Go to your Gmail accounts permissions settings at https://myaccount.google.com and sign in.

* Go to Security and Connected Apps.

* Search for 'Google Docs' from the list of connected apps and remove it. It's not the real Google Docs.