“We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account"; Google Unveils New Hacker Warning

haxorsGoogle

Google is now warning its users when it appears they’re being targeted by government hackers. In a post Tuesday on its online security blog, Google explained that through analysis of hacking attacks and victims reports, it’s concluded a “subset of its users”  are being subject to attacks tied to governments or state-sponsored groups. From Google:

If you see this warning it does not necessarily mean that your account has been hijacked. 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... These warnings are not being shown because Google’s internal systems have been compromised or because of a particular attack. 

Google did not go into any further details on which governments might be behind any attacks or how, specifically, they know, noting that such information might help the “bad actors” responsible.

Possible bad actors: China, Iran, Russia, the United States, countless other governments interested in targeting dissidents at home or “enemies of the state” abroad. Many governments, too, at this point, have been the subject of some sort of hacker attack, including Canada, Egypt, France, Japan, Russia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zimbabwe, and many others.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • RPR2||

    I got one of these last week indicating it was China. I have the same name as a critic of China.

  • RBS||

    So now we'll know what happened to you if you stop posting.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Will he be sent off to the Apple factory?

  • RPR2||

    I'd say avenge me, but the invading through Texas part of Red Dawn was ridiculous. Commie please.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The entire movie was ridiculous.

  • Tonio||

    But fun, PL, so much fun.

    "Wolverines!"

  • JW||

    Clearly, I need to be doing more to earn the hatred of foreign gubmints.

    I didn't get a pink banner. [sad face]

  • Lord Humungus||

    don't worry, I know at least one government that hates you.

  • T||

    The US? What, did ECHELON and all the associated programs get shut down? If the .gov wants to read your email, they'll have it.

  • ||

    What a clusterfuck the world has become. Fuck you, Red China, and if you're doing similar shit, gigante federale, fuck you, too.

  • 0x90||

    If?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Are they going to issue this warning when the DHS sends them a national security letter requesting access to your account?

  • Sharon Stone||

    What are some ways you can prevent this from happening? (serious question)

  • Tonio||

    Disconnect your computer from the internet. (serious answer)

    Sorry, but if there's a connection, a way will be found to exploit it.

  • ||

    Use strong passwords, make sure you are SSL encrypted, and don't get on anyone's radar. The last thing is probably the most important.

  • Tonio||

    Uh, dude, she's posting here. So much for staying off the radar.

  • ||

    Post from the library, use Tonio's handle and spoof his IP address, and don't skimp on the NSA keywords. The last thing is probably the most important.

  • Tonio||

    Thanks, Buddy!

  • Killazontherun||

    I've been told by certain sources who know people that may have actually rubbed shoulders with those in the know (whether that was in a line at a DC area fast food joint it would be rude to ask) that our classification is 'mostly harmless' in spite of SPLC protestations.

  • R C Dean||

    So, we don't even inspire fear outside the real lace-panties crowd at SPLC?

    That's kinda sad, actually.

  • R||

    I think the fact most of us adhere to the NAP makes them comfortable that we probably won't start shit.

  • Tonio||

    Damn you, RC, now I'm envisioning Martin Dees in a pair of Manties(tm), doing a particularly nasty sissy maid scene.

  • o3||

    dont search using keywords in which the NSA has predictable interest typically regarding explosives, extremist religions, hacktivists, unusual travel destinations, etc

  • T||

    Don't forget pork.

  • Scarcity||

    And fluffy Mexican clouds.

  • Tonio||

    That Google is doing this gives me hope. Not because it's Google, but because a large non-state actor is thumbing its nose at whatever (presumably) state level actor is behind this.

  • Juice||

    They don't want the state doing an end-run to get at people's private information. They have to pay first.

  • Jerry on the road||

    State-sponsored as in NSA?

  • Tonio||

    Or some other intelligence organization nominally owned and controlled by a national government. Or a contractor or front group set up by one of the aforementioned.

    Or maybe the NYPD, since Nanny B has illusions of being a sovereign. /joke

  • CE||

    Some state-sponsored yahoos compromise my checking account every two weeks when I get paid....

  • Tulpa the White||

    I doubt they're displaying this message on Chinese computers, where it would actually be needed.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement