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Google uncovers Gmail security attack aimed at tricking users into sharing passwords

Internet company says personal Gmail accounts belonging to US government officials, journalists and Chinese political activists are among the hundreds affected.

Image: Steve White/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

GOOGLE SAYS IT has uncovered a campaign aimed at tricking Gmail users into sharing their passwords and hacking other websites for Gmail passwords.

The company says it discovered the attempts through its “cloud-based security and abuse detection systems”.

Hundreds of personal Gmail accounts are thought to be affected in this attack, including some belonging to senior US government officials, Chinese political activists, military personnel and journalists. Google says it has contacted those affected and secured their accounts.

“In addition, we have notified relevant government authorities,” the company said on its blog.

Google said that the attack “appears to originate from Jinan, China”, but emphasises that it did not affect the company’s internal systems, saying that “these account hijackings were not the result of a security problem with Gmail itself”.

Read more about the attack on Google’s blog >

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