Recently people who used Google Docs and Gmail were victims of a phishing scam that was carried out on a widespread basis. In response to it Google has said that it will be coming out with a new security feature for the Gmail application on Android phones. It is expected to warn users regarding links that happen to be suspicious in nature. However, experts are saying that even this feature may not be enough to prevent such attacks since it involved a Google Docs app that was false and malicious in intent. The app in question was hosted on the own domain of Google itself.
A step in the right direction
However, it is still being said that this particular feature represents a correct step considering the number of people who use Google regularly on their Android smartphones. The fact that these phishing attacks are only becoming more sophisticated with each passing day also makes this a right step to take in the present situation. These attacks have improved to an extent where even users, who happen to be extremely tech savvy, are being fooled. As part of said attack people received emails from their contacts where it was said that the sender in question was sharing a document with them.
When people clicked to open the document they saw a webpage that was being hosted by Google itself and for all intents and purposes was harmless in appearance. The page does not ask your password, instead listing all your Google accounts so that you can click them. In this attack your permission is also sought in order to provide permission to the Google Docs app. The only catch in this case was that the app was a fake one. Once it was able to gain the necessary access the virus started to spread to each and every one that was there on your Gmail contact list.
The new protection
With the new system being installed in the Gmail app on Android phones there is significant reliance on the Safe Browsing technology of Google. With this technology the users will be warned any time they visit a webpage that is actually a fake and just imitating another legitimate website. Example of such websites could include online stores, banks, or just about any other site where your username and password details are being asked. There is a definite message that will be shown on Gmail in case you are trying to open a suspicious link that has been sent to your email. The warning message would read as below:
“The site you are trying to visit has been identified as a forgery, intended to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information.”
You will then be informed that in case you wish to go ahead and open the site in question you are doing so at your own risk.
What else has Google done?
Google has also acted against the perpetrators of said phishing attack. It has disabled the accounts that were used to carry out the operation, done away with the false pages, and also, with the help of its abuse team and the Safe Browsing technology, pushed the updates through. The tech giant has also asked its users to come forth and report any thing that they suspect as a phishing attack on the Gmail app. Considering how these phishing scams have become more convincing, it is expected that the new feature by Google will be of immense help to the people who use said app on their Android phones. Google itself is also hopeful that now more people would be careful about clicking on these links.