Google warned on Wednesday that hackers were launching targeted phishing attacks against hundreds of Gmail account users, including senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, military personnel and journalists. That story, as related in a blog post on the Official Google Blog, was retold in hundreds of media outlets today as the latest example of Chinese cyber espionage: The lead story in the print edition of The Wall Street Journal today was, “Google: China Hacked Email.”
The fact that hackers are launching extremely sophisticated email attacks that appear to trace back to China makes for great headlines, but it isn’t exactly news. I’m surprised by how few media outlets took the time to explain the mechanics behind these targeted attacks, because they offer valuable insight into why people who really ought to know better keep falling for these attacks. I also think a more complete accounting of the attacks may give regular Internet users a better sense of the caliber of scams that are likely to target them somewhere down the road.
The recent massive data leak from email services provider Epsilon means that it is likely that many consumers will be exposed to an unusually high number of email-based scams in the coming weeks and months. So this is an excellent… Read More »
Stolen or easily-guessed passwords have long been the weakest link in security, leaving many Webmail accounts subject to hijacking by identity thieves, spammers and extortionist. To combat this threat on its platform, Google is announcing that starting today, users of Google’s Gmail service and other applications will have the option to beef up the security around these accounts by adding one-time pass codes sent to their mobile or land line phones.
FBI investigators have identified a 23-year-old Russian man as the mastermind behind the notorious “Mega-D” botnet, a network of spam-spewing PCs that once accounted for roughly a third of all spam sent worldwide.
According to public court documents related to an ongoing investigation, a grand jury probe has fingered Moscow resident Oleg Nikolaenko as the author and operator of the Mega-D botnet.
Google on Monday said it was expanding a program to pay security researchers who discreetly report software flaws in the company’s products. The move appears aimed at engendering good will within the hacker community while encouraging more researchers to keep their findings private until the holes can be fixed.
Google has reportedly stopped censoring Chinese search results for its Google.cn property, in response to what it said earlier this week were targeted attacks against its corporate infrastructure aimed at Chinese dissident groups. But a security research firm claims the… Read More »