Oxford University Blocks Google Docs

This story caught e eye this morning, Oxford University made a decision to block Google Docs on the campus network at least temporarily for security reasons.  You can read the article for why Oxford made this decision, the key though is how they see Google’s response (or lack thereof) to Phishing attacks running in Google Docs

Unfortunately, you then need to wait for them to take action. Of late that seems typically to take a day or two; in the past it’s been much longer, sometimes on a scale of weeks. Most users are likely to visit the phishing form when they first see the email. After all it generally requires “urgent” action to avoid their account being shut down. So the responses will be within a few hours of the mails being sent, or perhaps the next working day. If the form is still up, they lose. As do you – within the next few days, you’re likely to find another spam run being dispatched from your email system.

I personally use Google docs (personally not professionally) but the lack of response, or knowing when they will respond to a security incident is pretty scary.

Google Blocks


One Response to Oxford University Blocks Google Docs
  1. Richard Schwartz
    February 19, 2013 | 2:40 pm

    Wrong approach. If they are reporting specific hosted phishing forms to Google, they should be blocking the specific URL that they just reported. They can probably even get one of their smart students to rig up bookmarklet that triggers an app that does both in a single click. Also, they should be setting up honeypot accounts to receive the phishing emails and monitoring them proactively. Better yet, set up autoresponders to submit thousands of fake responses to each phish.