Feeds

Google to offer cyberwar defence advice to Gmail users

'State-sponsored attackers are targeting your account'

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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”. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.