Google introduces new protections to prevent app-based account compromise

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 19, 2017

Earlier this year, a nasty and somewhat sophisticated phishing scam targeting Google users began spreading rapidly.

Hopefully, that will make them more careful about which apps they use, and minimize the risk of their data being phished by attackers.

The new additions involve bolder warning messages to inform users about a possible unsafe application requesting access to the user's private data.

There can be no doubt that the added security is a direct effect of the massive phishing attack in early May, which resulted in many, many users allowing the attacker's (conveniently named) Google Doc app to access their accounts. One of which lets users know when an app hasn't been verified and that they should proceed with caution, or not at all.

Google now displays an error page when users and developers try to access unverified web apps.

Google has implemented new protections that should considerably reduce the risk of potentially malicious apps gaining control of users' Google account.

The screen will also detail the name of the developer, and the application itself to give the user the best chance possible to work out whether they trust the legitimacy of the app and its origin. This will be the case if the developer has not completed the verification process put in place by Google.

The company has not just upgraded its platform against phishing plugins but also devised new registration systems for the developer.

Now, the search giant is adding yet another layer of security by rolling out an "unverified app" screen for newly created Web applications and Apps Script. Any Google Chrome user landing on a hacked or malicious website will recognize the prompt as the red warning screen.

And now Google is adding to the existing verification security process by issuing a prominent warning to users if they're going to grant permission to an app which hasn't been verified by Google.

The same screen is also coming to Apps Scripts that allow developers to extend Google Sheets, Docs, and Forms with additional functionality.

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