Feeds

Google to offer cyberwar defence advice to Gmail users

'State-sponsored attackers are targeting your account'

Website security in corporate America

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”. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.