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Serious warning issued to millions of Google Gmail users

07/04 Update below. This post was originally published on July 2

While Google has dropped some Chrome bombs in recent weeks, Gmail users have had a tougher time. And it only got much worse.

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Picked up by the always-excellent Android Police, Gmail seems to have a widespread problem with its email filters that cause potentially dangerous, exploitative and NSFW messages sent directly to users’ inboxes. Although Google has recently discovered Gmail issues “affecting a significant subset of users”, it now lists the service as fully operational, when looking at Reddit or Twitter makes it clear that this is far from the case.

“Why have the gmail spam filters broken ?!” – source

“Did gmail’s spam filter and category function completely shut down for someone else? Everything now goes directly to the primary inbox. ” – source

“Are @gmail’s spam filters broken? I suddenly got a crazy # NSFW spam in my inbox! What happens #Gmail? ” – source

“It’s a weird consolation thing that I can only search for” gmail “and immediately Twitter gives me proof that yes, others are strangely hit spam right now” – source

Update 07/04: Google responded to my request and acknowledged the problem and surprisingly pointed out that the spam error was actually part of a major problem that caused Gmail emails to be delayed, both when they were sent and received. The consequence of this was “some messages were delayed enough that they resulted in delivery without all spam checks being completed.” Most importantly, Google says that “In this time scans to filter malicious software and the most unfortunate spam and malicious content have been fully functional.” Google says the problem has now been resolved. That said, it’s worth noting that some users are still reporting spam issues in Gmail (1,2,3,4,5,6,7 etc) so be careful, both when opening unknown new e-mails and going through older messages that may have come during the main stop.

For the tech savvy, a flaming spam hit your inbox is something that can be navigated. But everyday users can be caught by some of the more sophisticated malicious programs and exploitation strategies that these emails may contain. After all, there is a reason that Gmail (usually) works so hard to keep these messages out of your inbox.

I have contacted Google about this and will update the post as I know more.


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