Calendar Spam: A new strategy used by Hackers to attack Gmail users

Google is one of the biggest tech platforms that provides a huge amount of services and products to its users. From Google Search Engine to Google mail accounts, we’ve seen it all. Nowadays, people tend to prefer the digital world more as compared to the real world. The upgradation of technology made the life of its user a lot easier as compared to the past days, now users can perform a variety of tasks with just a single tap on their smartphones. Along with changing technology, the tricks used by hackers to maliciously attack users also change. Hackers always try to find new strategies to spam users into sharing their personal information without even knowing it.

Malicious Calendar Spam

Although the digital world has its perks but the thing that makes all of the users afraid is the fear of a third-party accessing personal information. Since May of this year, a variety of Gmail users have been receiving unsolicited Calendar invites. This new phishing trick is used by spammers to take advantage of users with Google Accounts set to automatically add and notify users of Calendar invites. These Calendar invites contain a URL, so scammers use Calendar as to look like a normal invite but on the back, it leads them onto a phishing website.

Response from Google

According to Google, the team is currently working to fix the malicious Calendar spam but there is no official word on when the fix will arrive. According to the report from Google’s official forum, it states that the company is completely aware of the Calendar invites spam and is currently working to solve the issue as soon as possible but there’s no estimated timeline given by Google for when can people expect this to be fixed.

Try to protect yourself

Until Google officially announces the removal of this issue it is completely up to you to protect yourself against this type of spam. To protect yourself you need to change the way GCal handles event invitations. Open your Gmail account from the Desktop browser, go to the Google Calendar website and press the cog icon to open the settings of the app menu (or simply paste this in your address bar: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/r/settings). After that click on ‘Event settings’ and find the option named ‘Automatically add invitations’. After clicking on this option a menu with three options will become available to you. Until Google fixes the issue itself, you need to enable the option stating ‘No, only show invitation to which I have responded’



To protect your account from the Calendar spams, you need to prevent Calendar to not automatically add events from Gmail. For the purpose, click on the ‘Events from Gmail’ and uncheck ‘Automatically add events from Gmail to my calendar’. When you uncheck it, Google will warn you that it will prevent Google to not add any future Calendar updates and will be removing previously added events. Click okay and protect yourself from it all.




Bottom Line

The precautions mentioned are only an attempt to try and save your accounts, neither of these steps is ideal as they will also limit you to even use Google Calendar’s features but until Google fixes all these issues itself, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Read next: Gmail will now let you know whether a co-worker is available to respond right now or not

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