Saturday, April 13, 2024

Gmail Flaw Let Hackers Bypass Security Checks

Gmail has the highest number of users, amounting to a massive 1.5 billion, which is 18.75% of the world population.

Gmail is well-known for its security features which prevent hackers from taking over user accounts. 

Gmail has released a new feature that shows a blue verified tick for approved brands like Apple, Google, etc.

This system was introduced to separate spammers and legitimate company emails. 

However, threat actors have found a new way to abuse this feature by sending spam emails and a blue verified tick.

Source: @chrisplummer/

Gmail Checkmark System Abuse

Gmail Checkmark System was a feature introduced to help users to fight impersonators from spam emails. This bug was discovered by a security researcher, Chris Plummer, who reported this bug to Google. 

Unfortunately, this bug was responded to as “Intended Behaviour” and commented as “Will not Fix.”

However, the researcher provided an explanation saying that the routing of the email was not legit.

Chris Plummer stated, “The sender found a way to dupe @gmail’s authoritative stamp of approval, which end users will trust. This message went from a Facebook account, to a UK netblock, to O365, to me. Nothing about this is legit.

After a series of tweets from the researcher, Google took this issue as a top priority (P1) and is currently working on resolving this issue.

Google also apologized for the initial response and mentioned, “After taking a closer look, we realized that this indeed doesn’t seem like a generic SPF vulnerability. Thus we are reopening this, and the appropriate team is taking a closer look at what is going on”.

We apologize again for the confusion, and we understand our initial response might have been frustration; thank you so much for pressing on for us to take a closer look at this!”.

Every researcher is spending a lot of time finding high-priority vulnerabilities in major tech companies.

Companies closing high-priority tickets in a snap and mentioning that “Won’t fix” will humiliate any security researcher and his effort.

It is recommended that tech companies take a closer look at any vulnerability disclosed before confirming it as invalid.

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Guru baran
Guru baran
Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.

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