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Google Doc Phishing Scam: Schema Details and Fraud Detection Tips

google doc phishing scam

What Is the Google Doc Scam About and What You Should Know about the Google Doc Phishing Scam

Cyber crooks are finding new ways to approach people as the usage of remote working and collaboration platforms grows in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic. Hackers used phony Google Drive alerts and emails to deceive hundreds of thousands of Google users into accessing malicious websites in a recent scam.

A new sort of phishing scam was used in the cyber assault. A con artist tries to persuade the victim to click on a harmful link, revealing personal information or downloading malware. There has been a significant spike in internet frauds since the onset of the global epidemic, with a 667 percent increase in Covid-19-related email scams.

Being able to recognize phishing attempts is becoming increasingly important as phishing assaults grow more widespread and complex. This post will look at what happened during the Google Drive Scam and how to avoid such phishing scams in the future.

What Happened in the Google Drive Scam in Recent Years?

Hackers sent push alerts and emails to thousands of Gmail users as part of a Google Docs phishing scheme, inviting them to collaborate on a Google file. When users clicked on the push alerts, they were sent to a document with a huge link to a malicious website (the emails also featured malicious links).

The alerts were sent using an official Google no-reply address, making them appear legitimate, and included a variety of texts written in bad English or Russian. Some communications, for example, claimed the receiver had won a reward, while others urged them to investigate their bank activities.

While Google Docs scams are nothing new, the use of push notifications surprised many customers, prompting Google to focus on creating additional mechanisms to detect fraudulent usage of Google Drive alerts.

The Google Doc Phishing Scam Taught Us 5 Things

google doc email scam

The Google Drive ruse provides five important lessons for us:

Hackers can send push alerts

Push notifications, like email and SMS communications, may be used by scammers. Unusual push notifications should be treated with caution in the same way that any unwanted online conversation, email, or SMS message should be.

Be aware of no-reply addresses that are labeled as “official.”

To earn the recipient’s trust, the hackers made sure that victims got alerts from a no-reply Google address. Scrutinizing emails for errors like spelling issues and strange links is critical for recognizing scam emails from email accounts that look legitimate at first sight.

Do not click on any links that appear to be questionable

Hackers will use every means available to trick people into clicking on links to malicious websites, so if you encounter a questionable link in an email or within a Google Doc, don’t click on it. The email itself may contain a virus, which is why it is called the Google Docs email virus.

Be cautious of reward promises

One of the cyber thieves’ mails stated that the addressee had won a reward. Any email or text message claiming you’ve won a competition you didn’t enter is almost certainly a fraud.

Keep an eye out for grammatical errors and other languages

Many of the Google Drive notices and emails were written in bad English or Russian by the scammers. Scam alert: messages with broken English or foreign languages other than your native tongue.

Tips for Cybersecurity Leaders on How to Protect Your Data from Google Docs Phishing Attack

google docs scam

Here are some tips for cybersecurity executives on how to avoid Google Docs phishing attacks:

Inform your staff of the dangers of phishing

Educate employees and system administrators about phishing efforts, and utilize phishing simulation tools to teach them to spot frauds in a real-world setting.

Take advantage of security and phishing awareness training

To keep phishing and social engineering dangers at the forefront of employees’ minds, provide a mix of security awareness training and phishing awareness training. Securing training keeps staff informed about the most recent risks. Use phishing simulators to expose your users to a range of real-world circumstances while also giving them practice detecting phishing.

Educate internal cybersecurity ambassadors on phishing prevention

Make a few members of your team cybersecurity ambassadors to keep an eye on staff phishing knowledge. Educate ambassadors on the most recent risks and promote the use of phishing microlearning courses to educate other employees.

Maintain open lines of communication

Send regular updates to staff on the newest phishing risks and cybersecurity best practices so that they can keep your workplace safe. You may, for example, send out an email alerting people about the new Google Drive scam and emphasizing the hazards of clicking on phishing emails and URLs.

Ensure that all IT systems are current and safe

Keep all software, apps, and operating systems up to date to maintain your network’s defense. Patching software regularly and using malware protection or anti-spam software can help to decrease the number of vulnerabilities that an attacker can take advantage of.

Tips for Employees on How to Protect Your Data from Google Doc Share Scam and Phishing Attacks

google docs email virus

Here are some important pointers to keep you safe from Google doc email scams:

Don’t read emails from someone you don’t know

Unknown senders’ mails should never be opened. Examine the sender’s name and email address whenever you receive a new message to check if it’s someone you know. You can also call the sender in person or over the phone to confirm their identification.

Do not click on any links that appear to be suspicious

Any links you get from unknown sources should be treated with caution. Malicious links can lead to phishing sites, infecting your computer. Checking the target URL by hovering your mouse cursor over it is a fantastic technique to do so. If you’re still dubious about the veracity of the link, you can always use the search box to manually go to the official website.

Look for questionable aspects in the email text

Read the body content of all emails from unknown sources carefully for red flags such as spelling issues, grammatical flaws, and language that suggests urgency. Validate the context and seek relevance if the communication comes from a trustworthy sender. If in doubt, contact the sender using a different method.

Last Words

Even push alerts aren’t safe from cyber crooks, as the Google Drive fraud demonstrated. With hackers always experimenting with new frauds, cybersecurity executives must be proactive and empower staff to recognize dangers on their own.

Regular cybersecurity awareness training is essential for maintaining current on the latest fraudster strategies. Employees who receive training based on real-life circumstances and phishing simulations have a far lower likelihood of clicking on a fraudulent link.

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Author of article

Arthur Specter

Interests: accounting, literature, banking, jurisprudence

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