A new type of hack is now proliferating online, potentially affecting millions of people who are using Google's Gmail email service. The phishing email apparently works by tricking people into allowing a third-party app full permission to their Google accounts, which in turn will give its creators full access to all of the target user's personal emails and information.

How it works

The hack essentially starts with an email that looks like a Google Docs invite from one of the target user's contacts. All of the design, text, and graphics used makes it look like an actual email from Google. Once users click on the link to open the #Google Doc, they are then led to a legitimate Google sign-in page that lets them select an account.

Advertisements
Advertisements

After that, users are then prompted to allow an app called "Google Docs" to have access to their accounts.

Possible Damage

One the app gets full access to the Google account, hackers can then cherry pick through the user's emails and potentially get their hands on bank details, passwords, personal records, and other sensitive information. Due to them having full access to the email, hackers can also reset the passwords of multiple online accounts such as accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, and potentially even banking accounts with minimal security measures put in place.

What to do if you are already hacked

Because the hack itself is based on Google's own Apps platform, getting rid of the hack only involves the simple process of revoking the third-party app's permission. To do this, users need to navigate to their account's management page and then access the "Sign-in and Security" tab.

Advertisements

Once there, users will need to click on "Connected Apps" and then "Manage Apps." There will be a full list of apps and their respective permissions found on the next page. Users will have to look for the app called "Google Docs," which is actually the fake third-party app used in the hack, and then delete its permissions. This procedure has to be done as soon as possible as the hackers may actually change the password of the account, making it impossible to revoke the app's permission.

The real Google Doc app already has full permission to the account by default, which is why it is strange how an app was allowed to be named "Google Docs" in the first place. Google has already responded to the attack and mentioned that it has so far managed to block it. However, hackers may be able to modify it in some way, which is why users are still advised to avoid clicking on questionable emails.

#Phishing Scam