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Just Say "No" To Gmail "ViddyHo" Chats

A crazy number of readers have written in asking what they should do about unsolicited instant messages coming in from their Gmail accounts. The messages are from a site called ViddyHo urging them to "check out this video." I hope most readers will recognize the link provided in this chat invite for what it is: An invitation to give your Gmail credentials over to criminals.

A quick check of the ever-sobering Google Trends feature would telegraph that this is a scam that has ramped up extremely quickly.

Ryan Narine, security evangelist for security firm Kasperksy Lab Americas, said crooks may be after Google accounts because those accounts offer several tempting targets all in one place.

"These types of phishing attacks are not new but it's interesting that Google is the target of a multi-pronged phishing attack at the same time," Narine said. "Google Accounts, in some cases, are tied to valuable properties -- Google Checkout, Google Adsense, etc. -- so a compromised account can lead to financial damage."

The Harvard Crimson published an interesting piece Tuesday that claims to have traced the attack from this instant messaging worm to a San Francisco man.

Your best bet: Just say "no" to ViddyHo. And that goes ditto for any other unsolicited chat invites, regardless of which instant messaging platform you favor.

Update, Feb. 25, 11:44 a.m. ET: Added Kaspersky comment and Harvard Crimson link.

By Brian Krebs  |  February 24, 2009; 7:45 PM ET
Categories:  Latest Warnings , Safety Tips  | Tags: chat, gmail, viddyho  
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Comments

What's really funny on the Google Trends page is that most of the linked articles are about how awful the worm is, but there's one stupid-as-excrement shill who posts on his blog what a great deal it is, and how you have to wait for the oh-so-special invite for the "very exclusive" beta!

I don't even dare visit the blog's site - if he's renting his azz out for this kind of spam, who knows what kind of hacked files his filth will serve up.

Posted by: jamshark70 | February 25, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Most likely just a simple cookie logger the only other way would be to actually have users sign in at a rogue site.

As for targeting google accounts any email account that is compromised can cause financial damage. People sign up to banks, bill pay services, and payment processors with their email incase users forget their passwords sites offer a 'email your password' feature which would obviously leave an open hole to every account the person owns. Just as compromising a hub would offer access to every computer affiliated with it, compromising an email would offer access to every account affiliated with it aswell.

Posted by: OrderZero | February 25, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I get spam all the time from sites hosting their filth or products in google groups. I hope google cracks down on this. And I checked the URLs they are on google.com/group locations. Just cause its free doesn't mean it shouldn't be policed just like the gchat/gmail situation.

Posted by: dward__ | February 25, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

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