Google now displaying security warnings for state-sponsored attacks

Every day, there are more and more government-sponsored attacks on user’s computers and online accounts. This is of course bad news, and Google has recently rolled out a new feature that warns users when they may be under attack. The official unveiling of the feature on the Google Online Security blog is lacking in information on how exactly they determine if an attack is underway, saying that they “can’t go into the details without giving away information that would be helpful to these bad actors, but our detailed analysis—as well as victim reports—strongly suggest the involvement of states or groups that are state-sponsored.”

Warning message

If your account is potentially under a state-sponsored attack, Google will display this warning message

This new message is in addition to messages they also show about other attempts by third parties to access your account, but these new messages specifically state state-sponsored attackers.

While details on the detection are virtually non-existent, they do offer suggestions for those that do see the message. They recommend creating a unique password with a good mix of letters, numbers, and characters, as well as using their two-step authentication and keeping all of your software up to date.

[Google Online Security via The Verge]

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7 comments

  1. lol768

    @hatman:
    How is Google a “Nazi” company? In no way whatsoever is Google comparable. Furthermore, Google didn’t “access thousands of computers”, AFAIK, they just logged MAC addresses and location data. While this may be questionable, they didn’t “access computers”. Finally, how does a simple warning (a bit of generated HTML) allow them to spy on you? No-one is making you use Google, there are many alternatives. Maybe you should attempt to understand something before you spread exaggerated rumours? Y2K was publicised as dangerous and serious, yet it barely affected us at all.

  2. jayesstee

    Several thoughts on this:

    ‘Poacher’ turned ‘gamekeeper’! Seems hard to believe, but let’s wait and see.

    @hatman: Google aren’t a NAZI organization, they are a ruthless profit making outfit who, up to now, have rolled over and given Governments (and some of their NASTY subsidiaries) whatever they asked for.
    The gathering of information by their “street cars” and from emails and web searches is purely profit motivated.

    However, is this new stand by Google or an attempt to redress the balance?

    @Ashraf: This article proves that you are right to have a full time news Editor.

  3. Zapped Sparky

    Alerts are one thing, doing something about it is another. Which Google so far have proved they’re unwilling to do, if the amount of spam I get is anything to go by.

  4. Locutus
    Author/

    @Peter: Thank you, I totally agree.

    @hatman: hatman, no matter how bad Google is, I’m 100% certain what they’ve done in no way compares to the actions of the NSDAP.

    Please try to remember that this is a family-friendly site.

  5. hatman

    Google is a Nazi organization. Created by CIA. This “security warning” will most likely allow them to spy on your computer without your knowledge. Google accessed thousands of peoples computers with their Mobile truck that were doing the photo-taking of locations for Google maps!