Skip to main content

This LinkedIn phishing scam abuses Google Forms to siphon your personal details

Hook on Keyboard
(Image credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock )
Audio player loading…

Cybersecurity (opens in new tab) researchers have unearthed a credential stealing phishing scam that’s aimed at users of the professional networking platform, LinkedIn (opens in new tab)

The research by email security vendor Armorblox follows news of the sale of millions of scrapped LinkedIn user details (opens in new tab) on the dark web - and Preet Kumar, ArmorBlox Director of Customer Success, argues that the scraped details could be utilized to obtain login credentials from LinkedIn users.  

Moreover, in what has now become a common modus operandi (opens in new tab) in phishing attacks, the whole fraudulent campaign is run via the reputable Google services, Google Forms (opens in new tab) in this case, which helps the attackers thwart most automated checks.

TechRadar needs yo...

We're looking at how our readers use VPNs with streaming sites like Netflix so we can improve our content and offer better advice. This survey won't take more than 60 seconds of your time, and you can also choose to enter the prize draw to win a $100 Amazon voucher or one of five 1-year ExpressVPN subscriptions.

>> Click here to start the survey in a new window (opens in new tab) <<

Legitimate scam

The phishing attack originates from a legitimate Nigerian university email account, which Kumar believes has been compromised and exploited. 

Because the domain from which the email originates is legitimate, the email bypassed authentication checks and protection mechanisms like SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance).

The fraudulent email informs users that their LinkedIn account has been locked, tricking them into opening the phishing LinkedIN login page hosted on Google Forms. 

“This page was hosted on Google Forms and used LinkedIn branding to get past victims’ perfunctory eye tests. Because Google Forms is ‘trusted by default’, this page bypassed any binary email security technologies that filter for known bad or suspicious links,” writes Kumar (opens in new tab) in her breakdown.

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.