Google Docs app spam goes phishing
There’s a very clever phishing scam going around at the moment – originally thought to be targeting journalists given the sheer number of them mentioning it on their Twitter feeds, it’s also been slinging its way across unrelated mailboxes – from orgs to schools/campuses. This doesn’t mean it didn’t begin with a popped journo mailbox and spread its way out from there or that someone didn’t intentionally send it to a number of journalists of course – but either way, this one has gone viral and not in a “look at the cute cat pic” fashion.
Here’s how it happens
The potential victim receives an email claiming to be from a Mailnator account, which they dispute is related to their service.
The email reads as follows:
Title: [Contact] has shared a document on Google Docs with you
Body: [Contact] has invited you to view the following document
Hitting the Google-styled “Open in Docs” button takes the clicker to a genuine Google sign-in page, which is sure to wrong-foot many people:
Where this all goes wrong is on the next page, which is where the victim actually gives the app permission to access the account via OAuth. Somehow, nobody at Google thought of preventing people from calling their apps “Google Docs”.
Google Docs would like to
Read, send, delete and manage your email
Manage your contacts
After “Allow” is hit, the spam is then sent on to contacts. While 2FA would normally save you from a phishing attempt, in this case, the victim is willingly giving permission to the app so 2FA won’t help – the only solution is to see which apps have been granted permission and revoke.
Here are some of the domains being used for this (all offline at the time of writing, but there may be others):
Google is aware of the situation and is currently working on it. Meanwhile, Cloudflare leapt into action very quickly. We’ll update the post with more information as it comes in.
Christopher Boyd (Thanks to DioDesign and hrbrmstr for screens/data)