Google confirms massive phishing attack targeting millions of Gmail users

"We encourage users to report phishing emails in Gmail".

An email "phishing" scam spread around the country Wednesday afternoon, enticing people to click on what looked like a valid Google link that instead exposed their personal information, Google confirmed.

Google explained the new feature in the blog post: "While not all affected email will necessarily be unsafe, we encourage you to be extra careful about clicking on links in messages that you're not sure about".

Gmail users were hit by a massive, fast spreading phishing attack on Wednesday allowing hackers to access contact lists and Gmail accounts to spread spam messages widely.

The mail was cleverly created to look like a Google Docs invitation.

Those who fear they may have been hacked should go through a security checkup to regain control of their accounts, the company added.

The worm arrived in users' inboxes posing as an email from a trusted contact.

It's unclear, however, whether the new Gmail security check would've stopped that particular attack, which uses a fake Google Docs app that actually resided on Google's web domain.

A Google Doc phishing scam has been taken care of by Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG,GOOGL) shortly after is started.

Google said it was able to stop the campaign in about an hour. Doing this would take the users to a "legitimate" Google sign-in screen, reported The Guardian.

"We realize people are concerned about their Google accounts, and we're now able to give a fuller explanation after further investigation".

Clicking the link brings you to a screen that looks almost identical to a legitimate Google login screen.

Google determined that while contact information was accessed, no other data was gleaned by the ruse, according to the spokesperson.

'This is one of the most widespread phishing attacks we've seen.

According to an analysis of the scam on Reddit, the message will have also been sent to the email address hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com.

Vanessa Coleman

Comments