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Google Drive Notifications Used to Send Malicious Links to Hundreds of Thousands of Users

 

Cybercriminals have now resorted to utilizing a legitimate Google Drive collaboration feature to trick users into clicking on pernicious links. 

As per recent reports the attacks have been originated from Google Drive's collaboration feature, which enables users to make push notifications or emails that invite people to share a Google doc. Attackers are mishandling this feature to send mobile users Google Drive notifications, inviting them to collaborate on documents, which at that point contained 'malicious links'. 

Since they are sent through Google Drive, the notifications originate from Google's no-reply email address, causing them to appear more legitimate. Different cycles of the attacks are sent using email (rather than by notifications) and incorporate the malignant link directly in the email. The Google Drive notifications accompany various lures. 

Many imply to be "personal notifications" from Google Drive, with one lure named "Personal Notification No 8482" telling the victim they haven't signed into their account for some time. These undermine that the account will be deleted in 24 hours except if they sign in using a (malicious) link. Another, named "Personal Notification No 0684," tells users they have an "important notice" of a financial transaction that they can see for their own in their account, using a link. 

The attack has focused on countless Google users, as per WIRED. The report said that the notifications are being sent in Russian or broken English. 

These links take victims to malevolent scam websites. WIRED detailed that one such site flooded users with notifications to click on links for "prize draws," while different sites mentioned that victims click on such links to "check their bank account." 

Targeted users took to Twitter to the caution of the scams, with one Twitter user saying that 'the only red flag' of the scam was that he wasn't anticipating a shared doc.

 


With the generality of working from home due to the Covid pandemic, attackers are progressively utilizing collaboration and remote-work tools, including Google offerings. 

Nonetheless, a Google spokesperson told WIRED that the company is dealing with new security measures and is currently making strong efforts for detecting Google Drive spam.

Google Maps, Gmail, Drive, Facebook and Instagram Suffered Outage




Google addressed an influx of complaints it received from the users regarding the misbehavior of its popular services like Gmail, YouTube, and Google Drive among others. Users all across the world were troubled by the outage of the services they heavily rely upon for various day-to-day activities. 

Though the cause of the outage has not been confirmed, the issues of the users were addressed by Google.

Besides Google, Youtube has also received complaints by its users which it addressed on Twitter telling them that the platform is aware of the service disruption and the problems faced by its users. Alongside, YouTube assured the sufferers that it is already looking into the matter and will come up with a fix.

Notably, YouTubers and content creators were facing problems while uploading videos and viewers were unable to watch the videos smoothly.

Addressing the issues with Google Drive, the company said, “We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Drive. We will provide more information shortly. The affected users are able to access Google Drive, but are seeing error messages, high latency, and/or other unexpected behavior.”

Similarly, for Gmail, the company stated, we’re investigating reports of an issue with Gmail. We will provide more information shortly. The affected users are able to access Gmail but are seeing error messages, high latency, and/or other unexpected behavior.

Furthermore, Google mentioned in its G Suite Status Dashboard that the issue has been rectified and the services, i.e., Gmail and Google Drive will be functioning properly soon.

“The problem with Google Drive should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

While acknowledging the disruptions faced by its Cloud Engine, Google said, “We are still seeing the increased error rate with Google App Engine Blobstore API. Our Engineering Team is investigating possible causes. Mitigation work is currently underway by our Engineering Team. We will provide another status update by Tuesday, 2019-03-12 20:45 US/Pacific with current details.”

On the other hand, Facebook was down for more than 14 hours due to which millions of users across the globe were denied access to the platform. It was on Thursday morning, Facebook along with its associated apps seemed to be regaining operational status.

While Facebook is yet to provide an explanation for the services being disrupted, it said, "We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps,"
"We're working to resolve the issue as soon as possible."

Being fallen prey to the same crisis, the issues faced by Instagram users included not being able to refresh the feed and other glitches while accessing the content.

Commenting on the matter, Elizabeth Warren, a potential Democratic candidate in the next US presidential election, said in a statement to New York Times, "We need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor."