Google told the media that they were investigating an event where their email servers got hacked for a certain period of time. They claimed that the accounts responsible for this mishap (where hundreds of emails were being sent out from user accounts without their knowledge) have been blocked.
The process was first observed this Wednesday around midday, when multiple spam emails were delivered to Google email accounts containing harmful content. Clicking on it led to a shared Google document according to many affected people.
Recipients who clicked on the links were prompted to give the sender access to their Google contact lists and Google Drive. In the process, victims allowed spammers to raid their contact lists and send even more email.
After clicking on the email’s content, the users were taken to a page which required their permission to access Google Contacts and Google Drive. Many people allowed that too and as a reaction the spammers were given permission to send out as many emails as they want from the account of that specific user until Google took charge of the situation.
“We are investigating a phishing email that appears as Google Docs,” Google told in its official statement. “We encourage you to not click through and report as phishing within Gmail.”
The source of this Google email attacked is yet to be determined by higher authorities but Google has ensured that their internet security department is working on it to avoid such events in the future. In another statement this Wednesday evening, Google told the media that it has taken control of the situation and User accounts that were responsible for these spam emails have been blocked. Their system has been updated to deal with such issues in the future.
Here are a few tips to stay safe from this kind of situations:
- Don’t click on any email which has not been sent from a secure and known source.
- Keep your multifactor authentication feature turned on at all times.
- Shut down your email immediately if you think something is trying to take over.
- Immediately attempt to change your password.
- Report the issue to Google quickly.