Feeds

Gmail phishing attack hits on heels of outage

Oh the humanity

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Gmail users, still swooning from the extended outage on Tuesday, were hit with a widespread phishing attack hours after the blackout.

The malicious message spread via the Google Talk instant messaging chat system, urging users to a video by clicking on a link connected via the TinyURL service. The link points to a website called ViddyHo, which invited users to submit their Gmail usernames and passwords.

Once extracted from marks these login credentials could be used for a variety of malign purposes ranging from impersonation to identity theft, or simply for sending spam. The motive for the attack is unclear.

A San Francisco-based man who reportedly registered the ViddyHo domain, Cam-Hoan Ton-That, may be able to supply some answers, but is yet to be tracked down.

Victims were urged to change their passwords before hackers have a chance to abuse their webmail account.

TinyURL has blacklisted the site, rendering the attack inert, but that action is too late for those duped by the ruse, who now need to act quickly.

"If you think you might have been duped, make sure you change your Gmail password immediately otherwise your entire address book and all your correspondence, including information that you may have archived about other online accounts, will quickly become rich pickings for the hackers," warned Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

Cluley added that the attack was more plausible because malign messages came via the instant chat system built into Gmail rather than by email directly.

The incident illustrates the importance of using different passwords for multiple online accounts. Recent research by Sophos found that two in five (41 per cent) of surfers use the same password for every website they access, creating a much bigger problem in the event of any password compromise.

More details of the attack, including screenshots, can be found in a blog posting by Cluley here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.