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Threatwatch

State-Sponsored Hackers Target Journalists, Google Warns

Spear-phishing; Stolen credentials

“Warning: Google may have detected government-backed attackers trying to steal your password,” reads a red banner greeting some journalists as they log in Gmail.

Google has used the banner since 2012 and it displays when it detects that attempts have been made to compromise an account within the last month. Politico reported several prominent journalists—including some at New York Magazine, The Atlantic, Vox and The New York Times—received the warning recently.

It’s not the first time: Several journalists and professors in November shared on social media that they had been getting notices from Google. Leading up to the U.S. presidential election, think tanks focused on Russia were also targeted, according to security firm CrowdStrike.

The actors behind the attacks may be attempting to find embarrassing emails or uncover confidential information or government sources.

The banner directs users to a page where the company offers tips for securing accounts, including enabling two-factor authentication, using a Google Authenticator, or using a physical security key.

sector

Media

reported

February 10, 2017

reported by

Politico

number affected

Unknown

location of breach

Unknown

perpetrators

State-Sponsored Hackers

location of perpetrators

Unknown

date breach occurred

Unknown

date breach detected

Unknown