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Google Calendar Now Lets you Block Invitation Phishing Attempts

Google Calendar Now Lets you Block Invitation Phishing Attempts

Google now makes it easy to block unwanted calendar invitations, commonly used by threat actors in phishing and malicious campaigns, from being added to your Google Calendar.

This was achieved by improving the “Automatically add invitations” setting which now allows you to choose between having invitations automatically added to your calendar or only having them added if you have responded (RSVP’d) to the email event invitation.

“These additional controls can help you manage your calendar with less manual work by ensuring unwanted events don’t appear, and you see only the events that are important to you,” Google explained.

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“This feature will be OFF by default and can be turned on by the user by going to Open Google Calendar > Go to settings > Scroll to event settings > Add invitations to my calendar.”

The new feature started gradually rolling out at a Rapid Release pace to Google Workspace customers, G Suite Basic and Business customers, and users with personal Google Accounts.

Prevent unwanted invitations in Google Calendar
Prevent unwanted invitations in Google Calendar (Google)

Invitations to install malware, visit phishing pages

As we previously reported more than two years ago, Google has been working on a solution to block spammers from automatically spamming Google Calendar users with malicious invitations.

While, for many, this seemed to be an innocuous problem at first, some of these spam events were redirecting potential victims to phishing landing pages via malicious URLs, according to user reports.

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The end goal of these attacks is to harvest the targets’ credentials or infect them with malware via malicious sites.

At the time, the company said it was “aware of the spam occurring in Calendar” and was “working diligently to resolve this issue,” while sharing info on how to report and remove spam calendar invitations.

Google Calendar spam examples
Google Calendar spam examples

Given that Google Calendar is available on all desktop platforms as a web app and for mobile platforms via Android and iOS mobile apps, the spammers can potentially reach an enormous number of potential victims.

To have an idea of the scale, the Google Calendar Android app alone has been downloaded 1,000,000,000 times, according to its Play Store entry.



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