Feeds

Google grabs Gmail-using HTTPS refuseniks and coats them with SSL

You'll take this mandatory encryption even if the NSA can crack it

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Google has announced that from Thursday all connections to its Gmail website will be encrypted in transit using HTTPS – and messages will be encrypted when being moved around the web giant's data centers.

"Every single email message you send or receive - 100 per cent of them - is encrypted while moving internally," wrote Nicolas Lidzborski, Gmail security engineering lead, in the company's Enterprise blog today.

"This ensures that your messages are safe not only when they move between you and Gmail's servers, but also as they move between Google's data centers— something we made a top priority after last summer’s revelations."

Those revelations being the Edward Snowden-sourced leaks that the intelligence agencies NSA and GCHQ are intercepting and monitoring data center connections and the backbones of the internet worldwide. (It's feared the NSA has been able to compromise encryption systems such as SSL in some way or another, but every little helps.)

Gmail has always supported HTTPS connections, and turned them on by default in 2010. But users have, until now, had the option to switch the encryption off. Today's announcement doesn't just cover Gmail: Google Apps will also be HTTPS-only from now on.

Some Google customers have been avoiding encryption in case it slowed down the in-browser webmail service, but people familiar with the matter said that this is a tiny percentage of the user base. Google engineers have been working on making HTTPS more efficient and there should be little change in service speed as a result of today's change.

Google said in the blog post that it was also working on maintaining uptime and claims a 99.978 per cent uptime record, meaning that during the year, the average user suffered just two hours of screaming at their defunct browser before deciding to go down the pub. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
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
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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?