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Gmail bug leaves you open to phishing

Gmail bug leaves you open to phishing
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

If you think scammers are always those sophisticated code-cracking hackers you see on TV, think again. Sometimes, minor glitches in software programs make scamming other people easier than it should be.

It's happening right now with a popular Android app with an extremely reputable name. A name you'd never expect to have a bug like this: Gmail.

Back in October, independent researcher Yan Zhu notified Google of an unusual bug she discovered in the Gmail app. The bug works only in the original Gmail Android app, and allows users to send emails that look like they were sent from someone else.

To do this, users don't need to override or rewrite any code. They simply have to change their display name in their account settings. Doing so hides their real name and email address, and those receiving the email won't be able to see it.

At first glance, you might think this could be used by teenagers looking to prank their friends. But it's extremely concerning when you realize what could happen if this information fell into the wrong hands. Phishing scams are already a huge problem, and this just makes it easier for scammers to trick you into thinking they're someone else.

Next page: See what the fake email looked like
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