Blog Gmail Hacked? How to Protect Yourself Against Malicious Websites
Alex Lloyd January 2, 2013

Gmail Hacked? How to Protect Yourself Against Malicious Websites

Two days ago I received a strange email from my friend. It looked like spam, and after a minute of analysis it was clear that his Gmail mail box was hijacked.

Apart from the fact that it was sent from my friend’s email address, all other signs were typical for malicious spam. The message didn’t have subject, the recipients were hidden, and the email body contained only the link with no message. Today I received very similar email from another friend, again from Gmail and again with the same characteristics, so I decided to investigate what’s going on here.

Both links were hosted on .net domains, and the URL structures were very similar when both ending with /google.html. Both links were supposed to look trustfully as they were using words “plugins”, “components”, “google” – so typical for social engineering.

Hotspot Shield Detection and Antivirus Detection

Hotspot Shield provides you with protection against malicious websites, so I wanted to give it a try and compare the anti-malware results with antivirus program I am running on my laptop. I tried the first link, http:// casemarinadicamerota. net/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/ google.html – this link was blocked by my antivirus flagged as “Trojan.HTML.Redirector.an” – I tried the same from virtual computer with no antivirus and the access to the page was blocked by Hotspot Shield – great!

The second link http:// 3doors. net/wp-content/plugins/akismet/ google.html was not blocked by my antivirus – fortunately Hotspot Shield Free VPN blocked it. Even better! If I didn’t have Hotspot Shield running on my computer I could have been infection already. Hotspot Shield really gave me extra layer of anti-malware protection – exactly as it claims.

Both infected pages seem to be hosted on legitimate websites, which have been probably hacked by the bad guys and now they are unknowingly spreading the infection. One of the sites is Italian and offers accommodation but the infected page is English and is offering easy job from home. Interesting.

Hotspot Shield stops Gmail Malware
Hotspot Shield stops Gmail Malware

Today is over 80% of all infections distributed via web, only less than 20% is spread via email, removable media and so on. So have an extra malware protection against web threats makes very much sense.

So now common question rise, how shall I behave securely online?

First of all, use common sense. If someone you don’t know sent you an email with link or attachment, never click on it even though it seems to be super juicy topic. Get a good antivirus software, you can use even free antivirus, some of them are really good. Get Hotspot Shield VPN to be protected against hackers (eavesdroppers) and get WiFi security on public Wi-Fi’s and to get extra protection against malicious websites.

About Alex Lloyd

Alex Lloyd heads AnchorFree's content department. Before joining the team, he was a former professional race car driver—competing in the Indianapolis 500 four times—and has spent the past decade writing content for major publications such as Yahoo and CNN.

View all posts by Alex Lloyd
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