Hackers are sending malicious links through Google Doc comment emails

Research from cybersecurity company Avanan has shown that hackers are increasingly using Google Docs’ productivity features to slip malicious content past spam filters and security tools. 

Avanan’s Jeremy Fuchs said that in December, the company saw cyberattackers using the comment feature in Google Docs and Google Slides to leverage attacks against Outlook users.

“In this attack, hackers are adding a comment to a Google Doc. The comment mentions the target with an @. By doing so, an email is automatically sent to that person’s inbox. In that email, which comes from Google, the full comment, including the bad links and text, is included. Further, the email address isn’t shown, just the attackers’ name, making this ripe for impersonators,” Fuchs wrote in a blog post

The technique has long been used by cybercriminals and Google even released fixes for the issue in 2020. But Avanan included images showing researchers testing the flaw with Google Docs and Google Slides using a malicious link that was added to a comment. 

“We primarily saw it target Outlook users, though not exclusively. It hit over 500 inboxes across 30 tenants, with hackers using over 100 different Gmail accounts,” Fuchs added, noting that the email feature in Google Docs

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