Google alerts users about new state-sponsored attacks

Remember when in June Google announced its intention to start warning Gmail users that their account might be targeted by state-sponsored attackers?

A clear warning above the Gmail inbox would pop up no matter what browser the users used, and it was not limited only to those whose accounts have been hijacked, but were also seen by users the Google believed might be targets.

Mike Wiacek, a manager on Google’s information security team, said to the NYT that since then, Google has improved its knowledge on attack methods and the groups behind them, and has started pushing out new alerts on Tuesday – as evidenced by a slew of U.S. journalists, researchers and foreign policy experts who said they already received the warning.

But while before the attacks were coming mostly from China, now Google detects an increasing number of attacks that can be traced to Middle Eastern countries (Wiacek declined to say which ones).

As before, Google advises to the users that get the alert to beef up their security by changing their email and account passwords to something long and complex, to enable two-factor authentication for them, and to always keep their OS and other software updated.

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