Two Million Google Users Affected by Phishing Attack

Over the first week of May, 2017, over two million Google users were affected by a phishing attack. The attack was engineered using Google apps, files and services. Once Google became aware of the attack on its clients, it was able to shut down the pages using a combination of automated and manual interception.

According to Mark Risher, Director, Counter-Abuse Technology at Google, “This week, we defended against an email phishing campaign that tricked some of our users into inadvertently ganting access to their contact information, with the intent to spread more phishing emails.”

How The Campaign Was Structured

An email was sent looking like an invite to a Google Doc from of the contacts in the victim’s contacts. Users would click the link in the email and then be directed to the attacker’s application. The application would then request access to the user’s account under the guise of gaining access to the Google Doc. With the user’s authorization for access, the same message would automatically be send out the same message.

Risher goes on to state, “Fewer than 0.1% of our users were affected by this attack, and we have taken steps to re-secure affected accounts.” It is estimated that Google has over 2.2 billion users. So at 0.1% being affected by this phishing campaign, the absolute number of affected users is estimated at more than two million users. That’s a serious number of users.

How To Protect Yourself

– Take the Google Security Checkup, with special attention to any applications and devices you no longer use and look out for devices you don’t recognize

– Pay attention to warnings and alerts that appear in Google products

– Report suspicious content and emails to Google

Google has many measures in place to help protect your emails and information. However, they need your help. Being knowledgeable of what to look for and reporting it immediately to Google is essential in stopping this type of activity.

Surf safely!


BELL Canada Security Alert Not Related to WannaCry

If you are a Bell Canada customer, you’re personal email and information may have been accessed by hackers. Early this morning, Bell Canada sent out an e-mail to its customers whose personal information was access.

The following is a copy of that email:

I am writing to inform you that Bell Canada was contacted by an anonymous hacker about the illegal access of customer information. Your email address was included in the information illegally accessed. We apologize for this situation.

Our investigation has found no indication that financial, password or other sensitive personal information was accessed. Bell has worked closely with government and law enforcement to investigate and analyze the situation. This incident is not connected to the recent global WannaCry malware attacks.

Bell believes there is minimal risk involved but there are appropriate general precautions to take to protect your personal data from fraudulent activity.

• Please note that Bell will never ask for your credit card or other personal information by email.

• Be cautious of unsolicited or suspicious communications asking for any personal information or that refer you to web sites that may ask for personal information.

•  Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from emails you do not know or trust.


It is good practice in general to change your passwords and security questions frequently, and to review all your service and financial accounts for any suspicious activity.

For more information about cyber crime prevention, please visit the RCMP web site at, and the federal government’s cyber safety web site at

The protection of our customer and corporate information is of primary importance to Bell. We work closely with government agencies, the RCMP and other law enforcement, and the broader technology industry to combat the growth of hacking and other cyber crimes.

To learn more about this incident and how to protect your personal information, please visit or call us at 310-BELL.


Wade Oosterman
Group President, BCE Inc. and Bell Canada