Google now warning people whose Gmail has been targetted by suspected state-sponsored spies

Google believes that it can distinguish run-of-the-mill hack-attacks on Gmail accounts from state-sponsored spies trying to gain access to dissidents' email. When it detects the latter, it will display a warning for the legitimate owner to see, "We believe that state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer." The warning comes with a link to instructions for improving your password security.

You might ask how we know this activity is state-sponsored. We 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.

Security warnings for suspected state-sponsored attacks (via Wired)


  1. As the saying goes,  “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.”

  2. Ah — so that’s how my desktop wallpaper got replaced with the Cobra Command insignia.

  3. We do know that their censorship reports to Chilling Effect do include US and corporate censorship.  I think it may be to early to know if these warnings will cover the US.

  4. I wonder if they put that notice on your gmail if they get a National Security Letter.

  5. I wonder whom Google warned about our gmail being compromised. I didn’t get the warning.

  6. The incompetence of german spooks is legendary. It would prolly be enough to look for certain IP-ranges or the use of IE6.

Comments are closed.