27 February 2024

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Gmail's verified blue tick

Scammers are now using Gmail’s verified blue tick account to send phishing emails

Google recently announced the blue verified tick for Gmail, which serves as a visible indicator of a valid sender, providing users with an extra layer of protection against email fraud. However, it appears that Google’s attempt to avoid fraud has unexpected effects since scammers have already discovered a way to get around these safeguards. Check it out.

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How are scammers taking use of Gmail’s verified blue tick?

Companies and organisations can use a variety of methods to authenticate their identification on Gmail, including Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC), and Verified Mark Certificate (VMC). These systems aid in brand recognition, message authentication, reporting, and compliance. If a company successfully completes the identity verification procedure, Gmail will display its corporate logo and a blue checkmark beside its name.

However, cybersecurity engineer Chris Plummer has identified a way for fraudsters to circumvent Google’s protection mechanisms. This enables them to produce communications that appear to come from a reputable source, making fraudulent activities harder to detect.

When the cybersecurity expert reported the incident to Google, his bug report was closed with the justification that it was “intended behaviour.” After being dissatisfied with the response, the expert vented his fury on Twitter. The public’s reaction to his comments on social media was harsh, prompting Google to reconsider its initial rejection owing to the overwhelming response. Gmail’s verified blue tick is now not secure.

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