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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Supposed Chinese Spear Phishing Attack Targets US Government


By: Syeed 

Google reported in a blog post yesterday that they found evidence of a spear phishing attack that compromised the emails of some high ranking US and Asian government officials as well as civilian contractors with military interests.

According to the blog post by Google, the attackers sent out highly personalized emails to the unnamed officials, pretending to be friends, associates and collaborating organizations. The emails contained attachments which led them to false Gmail login pages that stole their passwords.

After harvesting the passwords, Google says the attackers created rules that forwarded the victims emails to their email accounts. The hackers probably also monitored the victims emails and gathered tons of personal information on them an their contacts which allowed them access to even more accounts. Google says they believe the goal of the attack seemed to be monitoring the victims emails. I would guess in an attempt to steal some military secrets.

Google is saying the  attacks originated from Jinan China, however they haven’t released any evidence to support that claim. 

Google said that they want to be as transparent about security issues as possible so that more people can be aware of potential threats. They said they have already alerted all the proper authorities, notified those who were compromised and put a stop to a hack already.

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