Google Docs hosted phishing schemes abound

Google Docs is a helpful office suite and data storage service that allows users to collaborate on documents with ease but, unfortunately, it is also a very useful tool for phishers.

Sophos has recently spotted two distinct phishing campaigns – one targeting the customers of the Australian ANZ Bank and the other the users of a web portal of a North American school – where the phishing forms are hosted this Google service.

As the security firm’s Paul Ducklin has noted, the phishers are partial to using Google Docs for a variety of reasons: the Google domain gives the scam an aura of legitimacy and the HTTPS in the URL gives it an aura of security; the phishing forms are hosted for free and the phished data is automatically collected and can be accessed from anywhere; the phishing forms are easily designed and Google Docs offers the option of automatically generating emails designed to lure in the victims.

As always, users are advised to be wary of unsolicited emails and never to follow links embedded in them or call the offered phone numbers. If you must check what the email is all about, visit the organization’s official site by typing in the URL yourself and use the email addresses/phone numbers given there.


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