Google Detects 18 Million COVID-19 Related Phishing Gmail Messages Every Day


On Wednesday, Google disclosed that it has identified 18 million malware and phishing Gmail messages daily. These messages are related to COVID-19 outbreak. It has also revealed that over 240 million coronavirus related spam messages are detected every day. The search giant stated that the machine learning technology has analyzed these threads and blocked more than 99.9 percent of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching to the end-users.

Google Detects 18 Million COVID-19 Related Phishing Messages Daily

According to the report, Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has discovered a series of attacker groups who are using COVID-19 themed mails and websites for phishing and malware attempts. These phishing emails ask users to click malicious links and download files which lead to loss of personal data like banking credentials and more.

"Our machine learning models have evolved to understand and filter these threats, and we continue to block more than 99.9% of spam, phishing and malware from reaching our users," said Shane Huntley from Threat Analysis Group.

Google Threat Analysis Group found that hackers are targeting international health organizations which include the World Health Organisation as well.

"We're proactively adding extra security protections, such as higher thresholds for Google Account sign in and recovery, to more than 50,000 of such high-risk accounts," said Google.

According to the Google blog post, some phishing messages are offering free meals and coupons to attract more people. Some messages shows information about online ordering and delivering options so that people can end up clicking malicious links.

Google Detects 18 Million COVID-19 Related Phishing Messages Daily

Reports also suggest that hackers have even attempted to target US government employees with attractive American fast-food franchises and Coronavirus messages.
"The vast majority of these messages were sent to spam without any user ever seeing them, and we were able to preemptively block the domains using Safe Browsing," said Google in the blog post.

How To Avoid COVID-19 Phishing Messages

  • Avoid opening anonymous emails and clicking links.
  • Don't download attachments from any suspicious message.
  • Always check the links before opening them, malicious links have extra words or letters.
  • Always use your company's enterprise email account for anything work-related.
  • Use strong and unique passwords and change them frequently.
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