Google warns journalists and professors: Your account is under attack

From Ars Technica:

A Google spokesman, citing this overview of the warnings, said it’s possible that the recent flurry may refer to hacking attempts that happened over the past month, as opposed to events that occurred more recently. He said Google officials deliberately delay warnings to prevent those behind the attacks from learning researchers’ sources and methods for detecting the attacks. The delays apply only to attack attempts, rather than cases where attacks result in a successful account takeover.

Phishing and account takeover is a very real threat. Yes, particular persons are sometimes targeted because they are personally identified as ‘high value targets’. However, persons antecendent to them are also targeted because high value targets can be more mindful of possible efforts to phish their credentials, while less mindful about clicking links from friends and family. As a result, the persons who the high value target communicates with may be used as the proxy to attacking the high value target.

Do you know someone who might be a target? Such as a prominent lawyer, business person, or politician? Or just someone who, themselves, would have access to such prominent persons or to sensitive information? If so, then you could be targeted by a sophisticated attacker not because you, yourself, are interesting but because you’re a gateway to those who are.

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