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Google's Gmail hit with outage, phishing scam

February 25, 2009|Mark Milian

It was a rough day for Gmail.

First, Google Inc.'s e-mail service experienced an outage that lasted several hours in the early morning. Then, a phishing scam made its way around Google Talk, the chat protocol embedded within the Gmail Web interface.

For the former, Google issued an apology and an explanation via its Gmail blog. For the latter, Google added the apparent perpetrator of the phishing attack, a website called ViddyHo.com, to its blacklist.

The users transmitting the links have been blocked, the website marked as malicious in Google search results and the domain indicated as a phishing website to people using the Firefox, Safari and Chrome browsers, a Google spokesperson said in an e-mail.

Basically, the action meant that if the ViddyHo.com domain was ever worth anything to anyone, it's not anymore. The website also appears to have been taken offline.

People targeted by the scam received a message from what appeared to be a friend's user name. The message contained a link, which led to a Web page asking for the user's Google log-in name and password. Those who did that had their accounts used to send similar messages to their online contacts.

Google is urging those scammed to change their passwords immediately. The company hasn't received any reports of suspicious activity on targeted accounts, aside from using them to spread the scam, the spokesperson said, adding that the outage and the phishing outbreak were unrelated.

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mark.milian@latimes.com

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