Phishers are active on Google Calendar. I opened my Calendar today to find an entry purporting to be from Google Customer Care. It read:
“THIS Email is from Gmail Customer Care and we are sending it to every Gmail Email User Accounts Owner for safety. we are having congestions due to the anonymous registration of Gmail accounts so we are shutting down some Gmail accounts and your account was among those to be deleted.We are sending you this email so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account.If you are still interested please confirm your account by filling the space below.Your User name,password,date of birth and your country information would be needed to verify your account. Due to the congestion in all Gmail users and removal of all unused Gmail Accounts, Gmail would be shutting down all unused Accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button, or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons.”
I immediately knew this was a phishing attempt so I sent an email to Google to alert them of what’s happening. Then, I went to the Calendar settings and changed it. Here’s what you do so that you don’t receive these event “invitations”:
- Go to your Google Calendar and click on Settings (upper right hand corner)
- Click on the General Tab
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see a setting called Automatically add invitations to my calendar
- Click on “No, only display invitations to which I have replied”
I had this option on Yes and found out that this is how the phishers managed to put that message in my calendar.
Fiona has returned from a long absence. After one week of being Mac-less, I am so happy that my laptop arrived today from the Apple repair center. I banished Wilbur (the ancient Dell) back into the closet and I hope I never have to go through this harrowing experience again. I learned one lesson: keep all contacts and my calendar online.
This is Day 2 without Fiona (my Mac Book Pro) which is in intensive care somewhere in Texas. I was about to post on Day 1 but was too traumatized to write anything. And were it not for Obama’s victory, which I’m savoring today, I would not be functioning at all. There’s something about being deprived of the thing that keeps you company, entertains you, maintains your calendar, processes communications between you and your friends, every day. I briefly thought about running down to the Apple store to get a new Mac Book Pro or even a Mac Book Air. I spent half an hour spinning this fantasy in my mind, imagining myself with the latest Apple gear and maybe, even throwing in a new iPod or the 3G iPhone. Alas, budgetary pressures kept my fantasy in check. I will simply have to await the return of Fiona.
So I am writing this post on an ancient Dell that uses Windows XP. This Dell (which I’ve named Wilbur) is the perfect example of why I moved to the Mac platform back in 2002 and why I got a Mac Book Pro in June 2007. It’s too heavy to drag down to Peet’s Coffee, but if you are ever contemplating suicide, you can strap it to your chest and jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. It is guaranteed to sink you.
What unnerves me most is this: I keep half of my appointments on Google calendar, but have made entries in Apple’s calendar software on my Mac. Never again!
Lesson 1: keep your calendar online.
I don’t think I’ve got any appointments this week (which aren’t on Google calendar), but I won’t know until I get a call from the offended person yelling at me for not showing up.
So while I’m waiting for the return of Fiona, I’m stuck with Wilbur. My only consolation is that Wilbur is too old to have upgraded to Vista.