Google Drive Notifications

Scammers found a new phishing lure to play with Google Drive.  An unpatched security loophole within the Drive is being exploited to send seemingly legitimate emails and push notifications from Google that, if opened, could land people on malicious websites.

Users reported that they have received Google Drive notifications in Russian or English asking them to collaborate on unfamiliar documents. Those documents contained links to scam websites. An email notification is received from Google which contains a potentially malicious link.

These links tempt the recipients into reviewing their bank account activity, accepting a cash prize, advertising deals, and/or prize selection. The smartest part of the scam is that the emails and notifications it generates come directly from Google. 

During this scam, the attackers used the Google service’s collaboration feature to create a push notification and/or email inviting people to collaborate on a document containing a link that led to a malicious website.

WIRED explained that phishers likely chose this tactic to urge their attack emails into users’ inboxes and past people’s suspicions:

“The success of email spam filters has left scammers trying to find new ways to urge people to click on malicious links. And Google Drive is pretty accommodating. By default, Drive wants you to understand when someone has mentioned you on a document. In a work setting, this could be a colleague asking you to check over a slide in a presentation or a brief for a new project. For scammers, it’s a clever way of putting a malicious link right in front of a potential victim.”

Some users indicated to WIRED that they had received several forms of the attack as well. Acknowledging this scam technique, a Google spokesperson communicated to WIRED that Google was within the process of performing new security measures that might make it harder for Google Drive spam to avoid its systems.

“Avoid clicking on unsolicited links of any kind when sent from unknown sources. If you weren’t expecting to receive it and don’t know the sender, don’t respond.” says David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

This scam wave highlights the necessity for users to get on the watchtower for email-borne attacks. Organizations can help their users in this regard by educating them about a number of the foremost common sorts of phishing attacks that are in circulation today.

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