Spammers Hack Gmail Accounts, Flood Contacts with Pharma-Junk

Dennis Faas's picture

It's no secret: Gmail (along with Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail) users face the wrath of spammers all the time. Fortunately, most of that virtual junk mail ends up in a designated spam bin, never to be bothered with. However, a recent report suggests spammers may now be hacking gmail accounts to get their message across.

"The Gmail team takes security very seriously and is investigating the reports we've seen in our user forums over the past few days," Google noted in an announcement on Tuesday. "We encourage users who suspect their accounts have been compromised to immediately change their passwords and to follow the advice at [our security page]." (Source:

Users Suspect Mobile Interface Vulnerability

The issue emerged last week, but has received more attention (and presumably more victims) in recent days.

According to several forum posts, Gmail users report that spammers may be using the system's mobile interface which was originally designed to allow cellphone users to check their accounts remotely in order to exploit security holes.

Most victims say that's how spammers accessed their accounts before spreading annoying messages to all of their unlucky contacts. All swear they haven't experienced any trouble with malware on their computers and say the problem is clearly with Gmail itself.

In response, Google alleges there's no bug to be found in Gmail. "Our investigation has not given any indication of a bug in Gmail, either in the mobile interface or otherwise," it said. "Spammers may sometimes use a mobile interface to access accounts they have already compromised because it's simpler for bots to use this method at large scale." (Source:

Spammers Flooding Contact Lists with Pharma-Junk

So far, answers are few and far between. Gmail users report receiving dozens or even hundreds of angry messages from contacts who've received links to sketchy pharmaceutical sites selling products like Viagra for a buck or two a pill.

"I sent out that email to everybody in my address book, which included people I had sent resumes to when I was job searching," said one embarrassed Gmail user.

It's not yet clear if the attacks are in any way related to the Gaia attacks on Google's servers last year, but speculation is mounting. (Source:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet