Google warned 500 users in India of govt-backed fishing attacks in 3 months

The phishing attackers were attempting to obtain the target's password or other account credentials to hijack their account, Google said.

Published: 28th November 2019 11:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2019 11:21 AM   |  A+A-

'Hire' came into existence after Google acquired Bebop

Google said it uses the intelligence it gathers from such information to protect its infrastructure as well as users targeted with malware or phishing. (File Photo | AP)

By Online Desk

Between July and September this year, Google sent out warnings to about 500 users in India against being targeted by 'government-backed phishing attackers'.

Google, in a blogpost, said its Threat Analysis Group (TAG) tracked more than 270 targeted or government-backed groups from over 50 countries and sent out warnings to 12,000 people throughout the world.

As per the heatmap on 'Distribution of government-backed phishing targets in Q3 (July-September 2019)' users in India had received about 500 such warnings, Google said.

The search engine giant, however, did not name any entity.

"Over 90 per cent of these users were targeted via 'credential phishing emails'. These are usually attempts to obtain the target's password or other account credentials to hijack their account. We encourage high-risk users - like journalists, human rights activists, and political campaigns - to enroll in our Advanced Protection Program (APP)," Google said.

The disclosure comes close on the heels of messaging giant WhatsApp stating that an Israeli spyware called Pegasus had been used to spy on journalists and human rights activists globally, including 121 people in India.

These groups, it said, have many goals including intelligence collection, stealing intellectual property, targeting dissidents and activists, destructive cyber attacks, or spreading coordinated disinformation.

"We've had a long-standing policy to send users warnings if we detect that they are the subject of state-sponsored phishing attempts, and have posted periodically about these before," Google said.

Google said it uses the intelligence it gathers from such information to protect its infrastructure as well as users targeted with malware or phishing.
 

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