Google rolls out anti-phishing mechanisms for iPhone Gmail app

The update will warn you about potential phishing attacks when you click on a shady link.

Published: 14th August 2017 10:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2017 10:43 AM   |  A+A-

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By IANS

SAN FRANCISCO: Google has rolled out its anti-phishing mechanisms for the Gmail app for iPhone users that will warn you about potential phishing attacks when you click on a shady link.

Google said the new feature will take nearly two weeks before it is available everywhere.

According to a statement, Google said that if you click on a link that Google thinks could be suspicious, you'll see a warning asking if you're "sure you want to proceed". 

The feature in the app, that the company added to Gmail's Android app back in May, will also warn when clicking on a link Google knows to be malicious.

A warning, "The site you are trying to visit has been identified as a forgery, intended to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information", will be displayed after a user clicks on a shady link. 

Google is applying their machine-learning expertise to the problem of recognizing suspicious email. 

"An early phishing detection algorithm identifies email that has phishing characteristics. The email is flagged and subjected to further analysis including a Safe Browsing test that can delay delivery by up to four minutes," Forbes reported.

Google claims that 50 per cent to 70 per cent of the emails that pass through Gmail are spam and that their detection system achieves a 99.9 per cent accuracy score.

Phishing is a fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

According to Forbes, it is estimated that 85 per cent of companies were hit with phishing attacks in 2016, 90 per cent of phishing attacks contained ransomware and the average cost of a phishing attack was $1.6 million. 

"Humans are the weakest link in cyber security, and phishing is the biggest attack vector. Over 60 per cent of email is now opened on the mobile, and this move by Google will help save a lot of debacles," Ankush Johar, Director at HumanFirewall.io, a leading provider of human information security awareness and preparedness solutions, said.

"Incidentally, a lot of the recent issues involving large cons and heists of money have been attributed to phishing, including the $100-million Facebook and Google con in April 2017," he added.

The report in Forbes claims that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack that roiled the 2016 US presidential election was a phishing attack.

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