Concerned citizens are tweeting about a Google email alert they received saying that government-backed hackers are trying to break into their accounts.
There is no indication in the alert which government is backing the attack which only targets a mere 0.1% of users who are normally activist, journalists and policy makers, Mashable reports.
I’m not going to lie, I did cover my laptop camera with a sticker after watching Snowden, but we can’t be expected to change our passwords every week, I would spend my days navigating forgotten password pages.
The alerts seem to be legitimate and are in-line with previous warnings that google have provided about state-sponsored attacks.
On their security blog, Google writes:
“Since 2012, we’ve warned Gmail users when we suspect they’ve been targeted by state-sponsored attackers.
These warnings are rare—fewer than 0.1% of users ever receive them—but they are critically important. The users that receive these warnings are often activists, journalists, and policy-makers taking bold stands around the world.
Today, we’re launching a new, full-page warning with instructions about how these users can stay safe. They may see these new warnings instead of, or in addition to, the existing ones.”
Now that I’m severely on edge and googling the letters VPN, a Google spokesperson attempted to calm the situation by saying, ‘We send these warnings out of an abundance of caution — they do not indicate that a user’s account has already been compromised or that a more widespread attack is occurring when they receive the notice.’
As Orwellian as it sounds, the evidence of world surveillance is worrying.
What does Google know that we don’t?