Google Gmail Restrictions May Force Hackers To Look For New Method Of Malware Distribution


Google Gmail is getting more serious about cybersecurity matters. Starting next month, Gmail will start blocking Javascript attachments in emails for security reasons. The search engine company made the big announcement on the G Suite Updates Blog.

Reduce Malicious Attacks, Including Phishing

Currently, Google Gmail restricts only file types such as .exe, .msc, and .bat, but things are about to change as another file type will be joining that group, Android Headlines reported.

Starting Feb. 13, Gmail will no longer allow Javascript attachments in the email because hackers have been increasingly using it with the phishing scams, according to Engadget. For the uninitiated, phishing is a technical term used to describe an attempt to obtain sensitive information by disguising as a trustworthy, legitimate website or sender in an email. 

It is carried out using an email attachment that links to a legitimate-looking, but malware-infected, website. According to Dark Reading, a fully functional phishing page could look exactly like Google Gmail signing page, similar to what happened in the recent Gmail Phishing attack.

The javascript attachments are known vector points for malware distribution. Once the users have downloaded the malicious attachments, hackers would be able to gain access to PCs and steal data or perform other types of cybercrimes.

Google's primary goal is to mitigate the chance of getting infected by malware and other forms of malicious attacks. 

Hackers Might Find Other Ways to Attack

Additionally, users will not able to hide the Javascript file in compressed form, such as .zip formats. This would mean a reduction to some methods of hiding malicious files. And Google would also be able to find Javascript file attachments and block them.

However, it still possible to share Javascript files through two of various Google services: Google Drive and Google Cloud Storage. Although Google's Gmail restriction will definitely be a big help for most users, but there is also a possibility that malware creators will be able to look for other distribution methods.

This is because hackers and malware developers are getting too creative and smart these days. They also have good track records of learning new malware distribution methods when traditional means are no longer effective. Nonetheless, other ways to prevent them are also going to be discovered.

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