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Google Uncovers China-Based Password Collection Campaign

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#1 Union_Thug


    Bleeps with the fishes...

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:00 PM

Through the strength of our cloud-based security and abuse detection systems*, we recently uncovered a campaign to collect user passwords, likely through phishing. This campaign, which appears to originate from Jinan, China, affected what seem to be the personal Gmail accounts of hundreds of users including, among others, senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists.

The goal of this effort seems to have been to monitor the contents of these users' emails, with the perpetrators apparently using stolen passwords to change peoples' forwarding and delegation settings. (Gmail enables you to forward your emails automatically, as well as grant others access to your account.)

Google detected and has disrupted this campaign to take users' passwords and monitor their emails. We have notified victims and secured their accounts. In addition, we have notified relevant government authorities.

More @ link: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/ensuring-your-information-is-safe.html

Massive Gmail phishing attack hits top U.S. officials http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/01/technology/gmail_hack/index.htm?on.cnn=1

"The Department of Homeland Security is aware of Google's message to its customers," said Chris Ortman, a spokesman for the agency. "We are working with Google and our federal partners to review the matter, offer analysis of any malicious activity, and develop solutions to mitigate further risk."The news comes a little more than a year after a separate hack originating from China affected Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. In that case, attackers were able to break through Google's security systems, and two Gmail accounts were hacked.

Google phishing: Chinese Gmail attack raises cyberwar tensions http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/01/google-hacking-chinese-attack-gmail

China is believed to have gained a hugely valuable set of data about US military systems from a US Aries II signals intelligence aircraft that was forced to land on Hainan Island in April 2001 following a midair collision with a Chinese fighter jet.The White House said it was investigating the claims made by Google.

"We're looking into these reports and are seeking to gather the facts," said spokesman Tommy Vietor. "We have no reason to believe that any US government email accounts were accessed."

Edited by Union_Thug, 01 June 2011 - 08:10 PM.

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#2 Rootkit Hunter

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 04:12 PM

You'd think that Gmail et al would start displaying the physical location of the sending email address, and noting those that were from anonymizing services. If I received an email from a friend or colleague that wasn't from their general physical location I'd think twice about clicking on any links or attachments.

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