Website exploit allows spam to be sent from Google.com (with real headers)

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

A 21-year-old Armenian calling himself “Vahe G” has uncovered a way of sending spam to Gmail users, just by them visiting an exploited webpage.

TechCrunch reports that they confirmed the vulnerability by visiting an affected page on Blogspot (Google’s own blogging platform) while logged into Gmail, and receiving an immediate email from Google’s servers. In other words, the headers were not forged.

In case you’re wondering – no, that definitely shouldn’t be possible.

Although this particular exploit appears to have been set up for mischief, more malicious hackers could easily have exploited the vulnerability to spread the typical money-making spam we often see or to distribute malware or a phishing attack. Users might be much more likely to click on a link if they saw it really did come from Google, and could put their personal data in…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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