By now you have likely seen all the emails and warnings going around today about Google being hacked, or don’t open a Google Document. We want to review some of the items to clarify what happened, what is the harm, and how to make sure you are not impacted.
What the email looked like and how it behaved: https://twitter.com/zachlatta/status/859843151757955072/photo/1
Google was not hacked. Someone pretended to send emails from people you may know with Google Accounts and these emails looked like they were sharing a Google Doc with you. Google Doc is their word processing platform and the email looks really good. So google did not get hacked, just someone pretended to make an email as if it was from a google user.
What is the harm?
If you clicked on the email, it brought you to a page asking you to “Allow” the “Google Doc” app to have access to your account. If you allowed this, then the rogue application can now use your email to send further messages to users and access your contacts.
How to check to make sure you are safe?
Even if you did not get one of these emails, it is good practice to review the link below to see what applications are connected to your google account. If an account is trusted, this means they do NOT need your password to use your account. So changing your password alone would not remove their access as many have shared. you MUST remove it from the connected apps.
- Go here: Apps connected to your account
- Review the list of applications. If you do not know an application that should be using your google account, click once on it then click remove
- We would recommend to change your password as well if you had an application that was unknown accessing your email. (https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/41078?source=gsearch&hl=en)
- We also recommend enabling two factor authentication with google authenticator or SMS text messaging. (http://everyonestech.com/2016/09/28/why-a-password-is-not-enough-what-is-two-factor-authentication/)
Google Reference: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3466521?hl=en
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