Feeds

Gmail phishing attack hits on heels of outage

Oh the humanity

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
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
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.