In just three months, Google sent out 12,000 warnings to people they suspected had been the target of a government-backed hacking attempt.

Data from Google’s Threat Analysis Group showed that between July and September this year, it warned users across 149 countries that they were targeted by government-backed attackers. Most were based in America and 90% were targeted with phishing emails trying to steal users’ login details for Google accounts.

Whilst the numbers sound alarming, it didn’t appear that nation state hackers had stepped up the level of attacks. Google said the data was consistent with the number of warnings sent in the same period of 2018 and 2017.

Google recommends high-risk users like journalists, human rights activists and political campaigns to sign up for its Advanced Protection Program (APP). It bundles secret keys onto USB and Bluetooth devices that the user will connect to their device after entering a password for their Google account. Unless an attacker has access to that physical key, even if they have your password, they can’t get into the account. 

The same kind of protection is available to the average user who isn’t targeted by nation states but who is particularly concerned about their privacy and security.

Source: Forbes

Related posts: