Gmail Hack Example Of ‘Spear-Phishing’

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The recent cyber-attack on Google’s Gmail service is an example of “spear-phishing,” a targeted hack in which collected personal information is used to get targets to drop their guard online.

On Wednesday, Google announced that hundreds of Gmail accounts were compromised in a massive cyber-attack.

Hackers used a type of “spear-phishing” assault, in which “targeted attacks… duped victims into revealing their Gmail passwords through e-mails that pose as people or companies known to end user. Attackers secretly reset settings to copy and forward all e-mails,” a CNN.com article read.

“Users were given a link to click that connects to what appears to be Gmail logon page — but instead is a dummy site that appears identical. Once the victim clicks in their password, the thieves can use it themselves,” the article read.

This incident is the latest in a series of recent, high-profile cyber-attacks.

“The attack comes days after… Lockheed Martin announced on Saturday a ‘significant and tenacious attack’ on its information systems network, and Sony’s temporary shutdown of its online gaming network after hackers had stolen personal information for as many as 77 million accounts,” the article read.

“With things like Facebook people are quite comfortable giving information on themselves,” Vincent Goh, Asia Pacific vice president of RSA, a maker of online security devices, told CNN. Goh explained: “That gives criminals more bait through which to ‘spear-phish’ — a much more targeted attack that uses personal information to get recipients to drop their guard and reveal personal data such as passwords.”

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