Google targeted in e-mail scam

Gmail by Google has been targeted as part of an 'industry-wide phishing scheme'. Google said that it had taken immediate action to safeguard the affected accounts.

Phishing involves using fake websites to lure people into revealing data such as bank account details or login names. BBC News has seen two lists that detail more than 30,000 names and passwords from e-mail providers, including Yahoo and AOL, which were posted online.

The lists also include details of thousands of Microsoft Hotmail users. Google said fewer than 500 of its accounts had been affected by the scam.

However, the search giant revealed that it had discovered a third list, but would not say how many accounts it showed.

"As soon as we learned of the attack, we forced password resets on the affected accounts. We will continue to force password resets on additional accounts when we become aware of them." Google spokesperson said.

The phishing scam was originally thought to target just Hotmail users. It was brought to light when 10,000 Hotmail addresses were posted online at Pastebin, a website commonly used by developers to share code.

The list was reported by technology blog Neowin.

However, a second list of 20,000 names has since emerged containing e-mail addresses and passwords from Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, Gmail and other service providers. A third list, which has not been seen by the BBC, was discovered by Google.

Some of the accounts on the list of 20,000 names appear to be old, unused or fake. However, BBC News confirmed that many - including Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail addresses - were genuine. Other addresses on the list include Comcast and Earthlink accounts.

It is not clear whether the new lists was part of the same phishing attack that collected the Hotmail addresses or a separate scam.

Via - BBC News

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