04 May, 2017
Vernon police are warning residents not to open any Google Documents, even from friends, unless certain the email invitation is legitimate and safe.
When users click on the file, the fake Google Docs ask permission to access your account.
Many people - especially journalists - reported receiving these invites Wednesday afternoon.
Once you press "allow", the Google Docs app, which was developed by the cyber trouble makers, can now sift through your emails and contacts, allowing it to continue the infected chain-mail.
A Reddit user named JakeStream posted a discussion thread saying that clicking on the link sends the recipient to a prompt from Google to gain access to the document through Google Docs.
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Instead of going to Google Docs, it goes to a convincing fake Google Docs login page.
The attack used a relatively novel approach to phishing, a hacking technique created to trick users into giving away sensitive information, by gaining access to user accounts without needing to obtain their passwords.
The phishing scam impacted Google email accounts across the country, including those at the University of Minnesota.
Not only are victims' accounts controlled by a malicious party, but if users follow the instructions, the same email is sent to anyone they have ever emailed and their contacts. One Tribune staffer received a phishing email from an address appearing to be from the Coast Unified School District in Cambria.
Thereafter, change your Google password.
Reports are also advising users to go through their Gmail Account Recovery security checklist. Those who grant permission are giving attackers access to their personal data.