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UPDATE: Google has now resolved this issue, but do not open any Google Doc email sent to you between 12:25 p.m and 2:30 p.m. (when the problem was fixed).

This is a real time update.

It started with a Twitter warning, and then a warning through one of my Slack groups. Then my email inboxes started stacking up.

It was a fake notice that someone had shared a Google Doc with me. The first one came from a teacher in Kuna where I used to live and my kids used to go to school.

It looked odd, so I ignored it. It did not look like the normal email I get when someone shares a Google doc with me, and since I work with them a lot, it sent up a red flag. Besides, why would this person I had not spoken to in at least three years send me a Google doc?

Good thing. It was fake, a scam that when you click on it, sends an email just like it to all of your contacts, and so on.

I got two within minutes from people who are tech savvy and should have known better.

And this is a sophisticated one. It tries to control your email using an app, and with the proliferation of the use of Google drive seems plausible at first glance.

But it isn’t. It appears to have started in the Google for Education apps, as many of the people I know who got them received the email from a teacher first. Shortly after the attack started, I got this from the Boise School District.

Boise School District Parents and Staff Members:

This is to notify you that we are currently experiencing technical issues associated with our Google Apps for Education platform which includes Gmail accounts, Google docs, etc.

Our Information Technology Department is aware of this problem and working with our vendors to fix the issues. At this time, it is important that you do NOT open any shared Google Documents because we believe we have a phishing attack and/or malware spreading through email.

We appreciate your understanding as we address this situation and will work to correct any problems as quickly as possible. We will be in touch as soon as this problem has been resolved.

Sincerely,

Boise School District Administration and Information Technology Department

So for the moment, if you get an email that looks even a little funny and it talks about a Google Doc someone sent you, don’t open it. It’s a scam, and it will cause you some real grief.


Also published on Medium.

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Troy Lambert
Troy is a Freelance writer, editor, and author who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho where he hikes, cycles, skis, and basically enjoys the outdoor lifestyle of the Northwest. Troy writes about business, sports, GIS, Education, and more. He is most passionate about writing suspense thrillers, and his work can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Troy-Lambert/e/B005LL1QEC/