Beware of Google Docs phishing scam

Yolanda Curtis
May 5, 2017

In typical phishing attacks, hackers create a fake site with a similar URL to a real one and trick unsuspecting users into visiting it and entering their login details.

This phishing campaign comes after attackers in January targeted Gmail users with a sophisticated ploy created to steal usernames and passwords.

In an earlier tweet, Google warned users not to click suspect links. According to Buzzfeed News, people started getting the rogue emails around 2:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.

If you clicked on the link and were affected by todays attack, Google says you should visit myaccount.google.com/permissions to revoke the “Google Docs” app. Google Docs doesnt require separate authorization as Gmail gives it by default. It looked like the standard "invitation to view a document" that compulsive users of Google Docs will know very well. We've removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing, and our abuse team... "We encourage users to report phishing email in Gmail".


Once a user clicks on the fraudulent Allow link, they will be redirected to a Google account sign in page.

In a case where the app in question is masquerading as a Google product such as Google Docs, this design creates problems.

Wednesday's sophisticated attack showed up in a convincing email appearing as though it was from a trusted source asking users to open a Google Document.

We are investigating a phishing email that appears as Google Docs.


If you think you may have clicked on a suspicious link recently, you can check. Accessing your contacts, the attackers can then send out more phishing emails, their hooks spreading like wildfire.

Maybe you're expecting a Google Doc invite link from a family member or friend?

BuzzFeed quoted a Google spokesperson who told the site that the company was able to stop phishing campaign within an hour, as well as disabled the accounts where the hack originated. If you log in, phishers could gain access to your email and address book and potentially install malware on your computer.


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