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Google asks Iran customers to change passwords

Gmail accounts may have been compromised by fake security certificate hack on DigiNotar in July

Google is asking all Gmail customers in Iran to change their passwords.
Google is asking all Gmail customers in Iran to change their passwords.

Google is asking all Gmail customers in Iran to change their passwords following a cyber-attack that affected a large part of the country, according to Reuters.

Google has said that it was not compromised, but the link between a customer's personal computer and its email service may have been compromised.

The cyber-attack stemmed from a breach of security certificate firm, DigiNotar's systems in July.

"We learned last week that the compromise of a Dutch company involved with verifying the authenticity of websites could have put the internet communications of many Iranians at risk, including their Gmail," Google said in a post on its official blog last week.

"While Google's internal systems were not compromised, we are directly contacting possibly affected users and providing similar information below because our top priority is to protect the privacy and security of our users."

Security certificates are meant to guarantee that an internet user is connected to a secure website and not being monitored, but the DigiNotar breach saw hackers create fake security certificates, a large portion of which went to Iran.

Once the breach in its systems was detected, DigiNotar revoked all of the fake security certificates, except for the one for Google.com, which was only recently cancelled after a warning from the Dutch government.

Google has recommended that all users in Iran change their Gmail passwords and verify their account recovery options.