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.