Feeds

Google to offer cyberwar defence advice to Gmail users

'State-sponsored attackers are targeting your account'

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Google is to warn Gmail customers if it thinks they’re being targeted by “suspected state-sponsored attacks”.

The warning, “We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your computer”, is intended to spur users to take immediate measures to secure their account, Eric Grosse, Google’s security engineering veep, writes on the Google security blog.

Such steps include creating a strong password for the account (that is, the kind of password that’s only usable if you write it down), enable two-step account verification, and keep all software up-to-date.

El Reg anticipates three possible user responses to the warning:

  • The kind of indifference or hostility that’s made it so hard for the world to remedy DNS Changer;
  • Outright instant terror;
  • a small subset of intelligent and sensible users who react calmly and quickly.

Google declined to detail the characteristics of attacks that would lead it to identify activity as state-sponsored, with Grosse writing that “we can’t go into the details without giving away information that would be helpful [to the] bad actors”.

As noted in Threatpost, Google accounts are a favourite target for government attacks (as well, we should add, as attacks by non-state actors, Nigerian scammers, hacktivists, and advertisers trying to sell stuff).

The Aurora attacks, emanating from China in 2010, are the best-known examples of alleged state-sponsored “spear-phishing”. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.