June 6, 2012- Google has unveiled a new service that will automatically display warnings to users who might be targeted by state-sponsored malware or phishing attacks. Representatives of the company are not saying exactly what the criteria is used in determining when an attack is sponsored by a state, because that particular information could be used by the government to evade future detection.
Google also said that it relies on victim reports and detailed analysis that strongly suggests that a state or groups that are sponsored by states are involved. The new warning by Google comes via a red banner, just above the search bar on the Goggle website and reads: Warning: “We believe attackers who are state sponsored may be trying to compromise your computer or account.” It also includes a link to important information for users to use to help protect their Goggle accounts, computer or smartphones.
The warnings have been rolled out following several attacks on Goggle users that showed evidence of being government sponsored in Iran and China. For instance in 2010, Google said it became the victim of a targeted and sophisticated attack that started in China and took information about activists for human rights who had used the Gmail service offered by the company.
In addition, in June of last year, Google detected a campaign that attempted to collect personal passwords for Gmail accounts for top U.S. government officials.