Of late, I’ve been getting a number of spam email from friends who use GMail. My spam folder which was until now on a slow carb diet was suddenly inundated with spam! All have the same one line pharmacy spam to some site peddling Viagra. Of course, my friends were clueless that their accounts were being used to send spam.
A quick search reveals that these are not isolated incidents, but happening with greater frequency with GMail users. Browsing through Google’s support forum, it looks like the PCs themselves weren’t compromised, but there is a hole somewhere within GMail itself that the hackers are exploiting. This is even more scarier than a compromised PC!
Media is slowly picking up this story. I found atleast two sources corroborating this.
To check if your GMail is being used to send spam, check your sent mail and trash folders. At the bottom of your GMail, there’ll be info on when and where your GMail was last accessed. This would be a good time to change your password, though I don’t think this will help if the security hole is somewhere within Google’s servers.
Google’s silence is deafening . Looks like they don’t have a clue either. Scary considering how much info I store in my GMail!
More info on this: http://www.cio.co.uk/news/3221131/gmail-accounts-hacked-by-drug-dealing-spammers/
Has anyone else gotten strange spammy emails from GMail users?
UPDATE: Apparently this was the reason Google chose to close operations in China. This was a sophisticated hack by Chinese agencies that compromised Google. The likely cause was someone within Google opening an infected PDF file which let the hackers into Google servers.
Recently RSA (whose security modules many financial services rely on) was hacked and investigations have revealed that the attacks originated from China as well.