Security experts have come across a new phishing method that is being used to target Gmail users.
An Internet security expert is warning users of the popular email service about a “highly effective” phishing scam that grants hackers access to personal information.
The newly discovered scam is said to be particularly deceptive because hackers have been using familiar Gmail pages to disguise its underlying attack.
The trick is so undetectable that even the most tech-savvy people are being fooled into giving away their Google login details.
“The way the attack works is that an attacker will send an email to your Gmail account,” Mark Maunder, founder of WordPress security firm Wordfence, wrote in a blog post published last week.
That email may come from someone you know who has had their account hacked using this technique. It may also include something that looks like an image of an attachment you recognize from the sender.
The attackers first get into a victim’s Gmail account and once there, they begin to go through the inbox to initiate secondary attacks.
The hacker first search for any attachment the user might have sent with a relevant subject to any of their contacts. The criminals from there then begin to gather up email addresses and these become the new targets of further attacks.
After finding an attachment, the attacker creates a screenshot and use it in a reply to the sender with the same or similar subject from the email, which makes the victim drop any suspicion.
The problem with this attack is that the phishing emails come from someone you know and that makes you drop all your guards.
The phishing method uses images that are designed to look like pdf files. Once the victim clicks on it, they are sent to a login page where their credentials will be captured by the hacker.
The url used is also not easy to spot as it contains the accounts.google.com subdoamain. This is enough to make most people believe they are on the real page. In addition, the browser does not show the red warning icon that Google uses to indicate that a page is secure.
It is easy to protect from the attack, though. If you have Gmail, all you have to do is enable the two-factor authentication system, and always pay attention to what you do when you open emails. With a two-factor authentication system, your attacker will need to have access to your phone or USB key in order to finish the hack.Share This: