GMail Contact List Exploit :(

GMail Contact List Exploit :(

Someone I had chatted with via email a few months ago apparently got some spam about “online bingo”, clicked on the “unsubscribe” link, and it then exposed their entire gmail address contact list.

According to this post, through some Javascript trickery the entire contact list can be harvested by a spammer if you click on a special link.

I’m not sure if this has yet been patched or if this even was the method of attack (it’s apparently pretty old, and Google has a reputation of fixing stuff quickly)…but in general don’t be clicking any strange links on strange emails. Please.


  1. e 17 years ago

    It’s more insideous than that: if the user is browsing with the same browser that’s logged into GMail, and they go to a site with the malcode on it, their account can be attacked. They don’t have to follow a link from GMail, as far as I can tell.



  2. kartooner 17 years ago

    Very creepy. Let’s hope they patch this up quickly!

  3. biru 17 years ago

    This person should not have clicked ANY link found in spam.  Gmail has a ‘report spam’ button, use that instead.

  4. CarlenLea 17 years ago

    biru is right—their first mistake was clicking on an unsubscribe link in a spam.  At best, it just confirms your email address for the spammer.  At worst, it unleashes a virus.