There’s a new twist in the story of hackers being able to infiltrate your Google Calendar. By getting into the calendar, hackers would get access to your entire Google platform, including your Gmail account.
Now hackers are trying something new. They are posting scam items on Google Calendar to entice people into clicking the link, opening the door to malware.
We’ll explain how the new scam works. We’ll also show you how you can get rid of unwanted events.
You’ve won an iPhone
Imagine opening your Google Calendar expecting to see the usual events of your day like meetings, reminders, someone’s birthday. But wait! Now there’s something on the calendar you’ve never seen before.
An event on your calendar shows that you just won an iPhone. The event has a time and even a link to click.
The jaded among us know it’s a scam. The more trusting will excitedly click the link and end up in malware city or phishing town.
But this isn’t a question about who will or won’t click a suspicious link. The question here is how in the heck is spam getting into your Google Calendar?
Hackers didn’t crack any security. All they’re doing is using a function that has always been part of the calendar.
The invitation loophole
As you know, when someone invites you to an event or meeting the invitation stays on your calendar whether you accept, decline or do nothing. It’s a default on Google Calendar.
With the first bait-and-switch invites starting to trickle in, it won’t be long before your calendar is flooded with spam. What can you do to stop it?
First, go to your Google Calendar and click the Gear icon and then click Settings.
After clicking Settings, you’ll end up on this page:
Click on Event Settings to take you here. On Automatically Add Invitations, click on the arrow and select the No option.
Say goodbye to calendar spam. But because nothing is easy, there is one major problem.
Unfortunately, if you receive a spam invitation through Gmail you’re stuck with it. Why? Because with Gmail it’s all or nothing.
Go back to the Settings Menu and click on Events from Gmail, and then scroll up to here.
If you uncheck the blue box all invitations, legitimate or scams, will not be added to your calendar. None. Even that important meeting invite from your boss.
Adding insult to injury, any invitations from Gmail that you have already accepted and are now in your calendar are gone.
At this point, no workaround has been found to this problem. Try your emails spam settings to see if that helps. If not, it may take a deluge of spam Gmail invites and customer outcry to get Google to find a way to solve this problem.