I recently got a nasty email containing two files. I didn't open them but did check and realised they were not docx files which was the intent but on gmail in the document preview it shows what looks to be word documents. Is this a security flaw in the preview system for gmail. Attached is an image


  • Are you sure that is gmail's preview and not an image or html sent by the phisher? Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 1:37
  • I can download the file to my Google Drive. It's definitely not an added image Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 1:47
  • Are you sure these aren't .doc files? Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 2:01
  • Google Drive recognises them as an unsupported file type. I'm not at home I can't open on a virtual machine Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 2:32

2 Answers 2


The .docx file does not look at all fake. It's just a document. The content may be indeed something like a dangerous link or something similar, but that has nothing to do with the actual .docx and it's preview.


Most probably, those attachments aren’t attachments—they’re embedded images designed to look like attachments that link out to a fake Google sign-in page.

Below is a screenshot of gmail phishing attack where the attachment is not a pdf file but an image:

Picture of an embedded image that looks like an attachment

  • This is also a possibility.
    – Overmind
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 5:52

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