Posted by Hacker Pilu Monday, June 06, 2011
Hundreds of personal Gmail accounts, including those of some senior U.S. government officials, were hacked as a result of a massive phishing scheme originating from China, Google said Wednesday.
The account hijackings were a result of stolen passwords, likely by malware installed on victims' computers or through victims' responses to e-mails from malicious hackers posing as trusted sources. That type of hack is known as phishing. Gmail's security systems themselves were not compromised, Google said.
The company believes the phishing attack emanated from Jinan, China. In addition to the U.S. government personnel, other targets included South Korean government officials and federal workers of several other Asian countries, Chinese political activists, military personnel and journalists.
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.
That cyber attack set off a series of events that eventually led to Google ending its agreement with the Chinese government to censor certain search results, and the company physically moved its servers out of the country.
The hackers were attempting to monitor the victims' e-mails, and some users' forwarding settings were altered.
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