Feeds

Recipe for a bad day: 'State-backed hackers are attacking your PC'

The chilling Google warning greeting journos in Burma

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Several Burmese journalists and foreign correspondents have been warned by Google that their Gmail accounts may have been compromised by “state-sponsored attackers”.

The writers, when logging into the webmail service, were confronted with a warning message stating “we believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer”, Hacker News reports.

Google introduced this form of alert in June to warn users if it suspected government-backed miscreants had tried to access their inboxes without authorisation.

"If you see this warning it does not necessarily mean that your account has been hijacked," Google explained at the time. "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" - such as making use of Google's two-factor authentication system.

The advertising giant won't say what exactly triggers the state-sponsored hijacking alert, as opposed to attempts made by common-or-garden crooks, lest it helps "bad actors". However the search biz hinted that reports by victims and its own monitoring activities play a role. Google also refrains from revealing which nation may be behind an attack.

Aye Aye Win, a correspondent in Myanmar, Burma, for the Associated Press, and Myat Thura, a Myanmar correspondent for Japan's Kyodo News Agency, have both been confronted with warnings from Google about attempted compromises. Employees of Eleven Media, one of Burma’s leading news organisations, and local authors were also hit with alerts over the last few days, The New York Times reports.

Eleven Media’s website and Facebook page were shut down by hackers several times in recent weeks, the paper adds.

Internet traffic in and out of Burma has been tightly censored for many years. At one point the country even considering severing all links with the wider web, but in the interests of commerce the secretive nation scrapped that plan. In the two years since, President Thein Sein gained office and restrictions have been lifted - but true democracy may take longer to be established.

Reporters in Burma speculated that attempts by secret policemen or such types to hack into their Gmail accounts may be linked to articles about armed clashes between Kachin rebels and government forces in northern Myanmar; the fighting has put the country's rulers on edge and their officials have denied reports that the government attacked rebels using aircraft - until Eleven Media filed pictures of air-to-surface assaults. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.