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Google introduces new banner to warn users of attacks

Google warns Gmail users of suspected ‘state-sponsored’ cyber attacks

Yesterday, Google announced the introduction of a new alert system, which warns Gmail users of ‘government-backed’ attackers.

The warning will come in the form of a banner along the top of the Gmail home page stating: "We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer."

In a statement, Google’s Eric Grosse said: “if you see this warning it does not necessarily mean that your account has been hijacked. It just means that we believe you may be a target, of phishing or malware for example, and that you should take immediate steps to secure your account.”

"Here are some things you should do immediately: create a unique password that has a good mix of capital and lowercase letters, as well punctuation marks and numbers; enable 2-step verification as additional security; and update your browser, operating system, plugins, and document editors."

Grosse did not give much information away as to what might trigger the warning.

“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.”

Here’s what the warning will look like when Google suspects any malicious activity:

Grosse explained that attackers often send links to fake sign-in pages to steal passwords, and suggests that users look for https://accounts.google.com/ in their browser bar when signing in to Google.

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