Scam Alert: Beware of Google Docs Phishing Scam
There is a sophisticated email phishing scam making it’s way around email inboxes. The scam uses the subject line “Documents” and urges the reader to click on a link to review a document on Google Docs. After clicking on the link, you are redirected to an actual Google login page, mimicked to lock like a Google Drive login. The Google Docs phishing scam is a sophisticated attempt to gain access to your entire Google account.
The fake page is hosted by Google and on SSL servers. The scammers created an actual Google Drive account, a Google Drive document that is public in it, and uploaded a file in there. With the help of Google Drive preview feature, they are sharing that link to send in emails. Regular users of Google Drive, will be familiar with the login page.
Once you click on “sign in”, your credentials are sent to a PHP script on a compromised web server. To keep you in the dark, you are redirected to a Google Docs document, thinking everything is normal. And just like that, your email has been hacked! Now, the hackers will have access to your entire Google account, including email, Google Drive and Google Play (for example).
What is a phishing email?
Phishing emails are messages sent to your inbox that contain links to sites that have malware or viruses. Phishing messages are sometimes sent via instant messages and SMS as well. Often times, the emails seem to arrive from a banking institution or official business, and the links redirect you to a legitimate looking site, prompting you to login. Once you do, your login information is used to compromise your actual account. This is a growing problem.
To avoid being the victim of a phishing scam, there really is only one piece of advice: If you are suspect about a message or email, do not click on any links in it. Always open a separate browser, and manually visit the site you are planning to enter your login information into. If you have a security software installed (i.e. Norton, or AVG), you should receive a warning and your PC may be secure.