Google adds security features to lessen risk of unverified apps

Google has added new security feature “unverified app” warning screen for new web applications and Apps Scripts that require verification

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Highlights

    • Google adds new security feature to block unverified apps
    • Users will get notification alert when they come across an unverified app
    • The unverified app screen contains app and its developer

Google is making steady efforts to block phishing attacks and devoid users from installing malicious plugins. The Search giant has added new security feature “unverified app” warning screen for new web applications and Apps Scripts that require verification.

This screen will basically appear when a user encounters web apps that have not been confirmed to be authentic by Google yet. Users will get notification alert when they come across an unverified app and if they want to proceed beyond the warning screen, they will need to type in “continue”. If users hit the “allow” button they might have a chance of being potentially exposed to malicious plugins. TechCrunch points out that the warning screen ‘clearly notes’ the name of the app and its developer which would further help users from getting phishing attacks.

This change comes in the wake of phishing debacle that hit Google drive users in May. The phishing campaign that targeted Google accounts sent fraudulent emails to users and indicated that someone from their contact list had shared a Google Doc with them. The fraudulent emails consisting of a fake Google Docs link forwarded users to an actual sign-in page from Google and asked them to grant access to an app mimicking Google Docs. Once granted permission, it sent a new request to everyone in a user’s (target to be precise) contact list and allowed the app to ‘spread virally’. The app although was ‘blacklisted’ by Google but it already plagued thousands of users, The Verge notes.

However, the Mountain View company did add security features for its G Suite users over the last few months including new anti-phishing tools and OAuth apps whitelisting. In the coming months, Google plans to enhance user protections by extending the verification process beyond ‘newly created’ apps to existing apps as well.

Also Read: How to secure your Google account and why it is more important than you think

We’re committed to fostering a healthy ecosystem for both users and developers. These new notices will inform users automatically if they may be at risk, enabling them to make informed decisions to keep their information safe, and will make it easier to test and develop apps for developers,” Google wrote in its blog post.