Google accuses China of attempted hack

Phishing attack tried to steal hundreds of passwords to sensitive email accounts

Tags: ChinaCyber crimeGoogle IncorporatedHacking
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Google accuses China of attempted hack Google has revealed that hackers attempted to steal passwords and monitor sensitive Gmail accounts. The company says the attack originated in China and was unsuccessful.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  June 2, 2011

Google has said that it suspects Chinese hackers of trying to steal passwords of hundreds of Google mail account holders, including ones belonging to senior US government officials, Chinese political activists, South Korean officials, military personnel and journalists, the internet company said in a statement.

Google said that the attack was likely perpetrated through phishing and appears to originate from Jinan, China.

"The goal of this effort seems to have been to monitor the contents of these users' emails, with the perpetrators apparently using stolen passwords to change peoples' forwarding and delegation settings. Gmail enables you to forward your emails automatically, as well as grant others access to your account," said the statement.

Google has said that the strength of its cloud-based security and abuse detection systems
prevented the attack from being successful.

The company has notified those whose accounts were attacked in the hack and secured their email accounts, government authorities have also been notified of the attempted breach.

"It's important to stress that our internal systems have not been affected - these account hijackings were not the result of a security problem with Gmail itself. But we believe that being open about these security issues helps users better protect their information online," read the statement.

To further secure Gmail accounts, Google has advised users to enable 2-step verification; this Gmail feature uses a phone and second password on sign-in, and was successful in protecting some accounts from the attack.

The company also advises users to use a strong password that you do not use on any other site and to only enter that password into a proper sign-on page.

Users should also check your Gmail settings for suspicious forwarding addresses or delegated accounts, watch for red warnings about suspicious account activity and review the security features offered by the Chrome browser.

2632 days ago
Vinod Mehra

the war of titans or cat and mice ... Either way the common user suffers.

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