DHAKA: Google Inc. said it has started sending warnings to users of its e-mail service who may have been targeted by state-sponsored cyber-attacks.
Gmail users whose accounts are suspected of being the target of such a hacking effort will receive a message stating, ‘We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer’, Mountain View, California-based Google said on a company blog.
‘If you see this warning it does not necessarily mean that your account has been hijacked’, Google said.
‘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.’
Phishers try to obtain confidential information, while malware disrupts files or computing operations.
The alerts are directed at specific Gmail users, some of whom can be identified by the company’s algorithms. Google also collects reports from hacking victims and receives other, unspecified intelligence regarding targets of espionage attempts.
Google has used notifications in the past to inform users of malicious ‘botnet’ software on machines, without specifying the suspected origin.
The messages are a sign of the vast amount of data about cyberattacks that Google collects as the operator of the world’s biggest search engine and one of the biggest e-mail services.
Gmail has more than 350 million active users, according to a company spokesman, Jay Nancarrow, reports Bloomberg.
BDST: 1436 HRS, JUN 6, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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