May 5, 2017
A sophisticated and rapidly-spreading attack hit the accounts of Gmail users earlier this week, affecting as many as 1 million people, according to a statement issued by Google late Wednesday evening. “We have taken action to protect users against an email spam campaign impersonating Google Docs, which affected fewer than 0.1 percent of Gmail users,” read the email statement from Google’s communications team.
The viral attack appeared in inboxes as a document share link, dressed to look like it came from Google Docs. The scheme was surprisingly sophisticated; perpetrators employed Google’s own system for developers, creating a third-party app that made their email appear legitimate, tricking users into following an infected link. According to Google, no data beyond contact information was exposed in the attack and the assault was shut down quickly.