On Wednesday, Google said in a blog post that U.S. government officials were the target of a recent Gmail phishing attack launched by Chinese hackers.
The hackers are believed to have been able to monitor the accounts of hundreds of people, including U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials from several Asian countries, military personnel and journalists.
Google said that the attack was focussed on monitoring the content of the compromised accounts by changing their settings to have the accounts granted access to other users or to have emails secretly forwarded to another account. It also said that the breach was not as a result of internal system failures or any security problem.
Eric Grosse, the engineering director of Google, said on the company’s blog that, “Through the strength of our cloud-based security and abuse detection systems, we recently uncovered a campaign to collect user passwords, likely through phishing.” He added, “This campaign, which appears to originate from Jinan, China, affected what seem to be the personal Gmail accounts of hundreds of users including, among others, senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists.”
He also said that Google was able to ‘detected’ and ‘disrupted’ this phishing attack and that the victims and relevant government authorities have been notified and the accounts have been secured.
Written by A-Techie