'Be Very Careful': Google to Gmail Users

by Muntazir Abbas    Feb 27, 2009

When Farzina Naznin logged into her Gmail account recently, it would be the start of a harrowing experience, one that every Internet surfer has come to dread being a victim of a phishing attack. An analyst at a KPO, Naznin, her Gmail account was hacked in a recent spate of attacks that has targeted Google’s email and IM subscribers. When I tried logging to my Gmail account in the morning, it gives repeated username and password error, although I do not remember clicking to any such link, she said.

Later, I discovered that my account has been hacked, and it added to an embarrassing situation, Naznin said. A mail was circulated to all the individuals in her contact list in Gmail, asking for monetary help on the pretext that she had lost her baggage at airport. I got a call from some of my friends who said that they have got a mail for help from my account, she said.

With the alarming rise in phishing of Gmail accounts, Google has asked its users to be aware and restrain from clicking a link sent via instant messaging. 

Besides other modes, a phishing attack may come from a link through Gtalk contact list and it takes the users to the Website- http://viddyho.com . These unsolicited messages urge Gmail users to- check out this video by clicking on a link via the TinyURL service. The link to the video clip asks Gmail users for their account s username and passcode.

As increasing number of cases has been reported to Google, it has issued advisory to its users. We have seen a number of reports from users who have received links appearing to be from friends that ask them to enter their Google Talk or Gmail username and password into a website called ViddyHo.com, reads the company s statement.

Be very careful when asked to enter your Google username or password after clicking on links sent to you from instant messages, added the note. Further, it suggests users to change the username and password of Google account and update the security question, in case they have clicked the link.

The personal information and confidential material that include reports, pictures, phone numbers, and other details is at risk.