Google Warning of More State-Sponsored Cyber-Attacks
Google is sending out tens of thousands of messages to users that their Gmail accounts may have been targeted by state-sponsored cyber-criminals.Google officials are sending out tens of thousands of new messages to Gmail users that their accounts may be targets of state-sponsored cyber-attacks, citing a growth in the number of threats coming out from other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East. The warnings, which Google security officials began sending out Oct. 2, are coming after Google security officials gleaned new information about cyber-attacks and their perpetrators, according to a report in The New York Times. In an interview with the newspaper, Mike Wiacek, a manager in Google’s information security group, said that after seeing the new intelligence about the threats, the search engine giant decided to send out the warnings. The newest round of messages comes four months after Google alerted users that the company was going to begin warning them of attacks on their Gmail accounts that officials believe were coming from state-sponsored groups, in such forms as malware and phishing attacks. In a June 5 blog post, Eric Grosse, vice president of security engineering from Google, told users of the company’s plans to issue alerts.
“If you see this warning it does not necessarily mean that your account has been hijacked,” Grosse wrote. “It just means that we believe you may be a target, of phishing or malware for example, and that you should take immediate steps to secure your account. … You might ask how we know this activity is state-sponsored. We can’t go into the details without giving away information that would be helpful to these bad actors, but our detailed analysis—as well as victim reports—strongly suggest the involvement of states or groups that are state-sponsored.”