Google Calendar now the target of phishers

Once a favorite of spammers, Google Calendar is now being targeted by phishers using e-mail referencing a legitimate event that asks for user name and password.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills
2 min read

Updated Tuesday at 9:10 a.m. with Google comment.

A few months ago, spam came to Google Calendar. Now phishing has arrived.

Intrepid Google watcher Philipp Lenssen wrote late last week about being the target of a phishing attempt via Google Calendar.

He received an e-mail to his Gmail account with a reference to a legitimate event from his calendar. The sender was listed as "customer care," and it asked him to verify his account by supplying his username and password.

"We are having congestions (sic) due to the anonymous registration of Gmail accounts, so we are shutting down some Gmail accounts, and your account was among those to be deleted. We are sending you this email to so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account," the e-mail said, complete with grammatical and spelling mistakes that can tip people off to phishing attempts.

On May 28, a Google Talk Guide addressed the issue in a Google Groups thread, urging users to click the "Report Phishing" link if they receive suspicious e-mails and not to click on links within the e-mails or open attachments.

Late on Monday, a Google representative e-mailed this statement: "Spam is an issue for all Internet users, and we work very hard to fight it. Using Google Calendar, or any Google product, to send spam is a violation of our product policies. We are actively identifying Calendar accounts that send spam and disabling them."

Google has more information on how to protect against e-mail fraud on its Official Google Blog Web site.

Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscope writes about how phishers targeted him via Google Calendar. This is a screenshot of the e-mail he received. Blogoscoped