Google warns of a state-sponsored attack on your Gmail

Here is what you DO NOT want to see in your Gmail:

Google warns of attack

a notice will appear at the top of the Gmail page that says "Warning: We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer."

From Google’s Eric Grosse, vice president of security engineering at Google blog:

“We are constantly on the lookout for malicious activity on our systems, in particular attempts by third parties to log into users’ accounts unauthorized. When we have specific intelligence—either directly from users or from our own monitoring efforts—we show clear warning signs and put in place extra roadblocks to thwart these bad actors.”

Eric goes on to say: "We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer." It will appear at the top of the Gmail page if the user has logged in with his or her Google account. The message is not limited to those who use Google’s own Chrome, but will pop up in any browser.

Before you panic, it doesn’t mean that your account was indeed hacked,it just means that you are a possible target.

Eric suggests the following precautions:

  • Create a unique password that has a good mix of capital and lowercase letters, as well punctuation marks and numbers
  • Enable 2-step verification as additional security
  • Update your browser, operating system, plugins, and document editors.
  • Attackers often send links to fake sign-in pages to try to steal your password, so be careful about where you sign in to Google and look for https://accounts.google.com/ in your browser bar.

This is not the first time that Google has alerted its users about threats. As recently as two weeks ago Google alerted users whose Windows PCs or Macs remain infected with the DNSChanger malware. Those users face the loss of their link to the Internet on July 9, when authorities switch off substitute DNS (domain name system) servers that took the place of criminal-controlled machines shut down last year.

Not sure if this latest warning has anything to do with the recent outbreak of the FLAME malware attack in the middle east but at least someone is out there keeping an eye open.

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