Google sent more than 33,000 alerts to its users during the first three quarters of 2020 to warn of state-sponsored phishing attacks targeting their accounts.
Shane Huntley said (Shane Huntley), Director of the Google Threat Analysis Group: In these cases, we shared our findings with the campaigns and the FBI.
Prominent alerts sent to Google users targeted in government-backed attacks were shown to inform them of the danger even when hacking attempts were repelled.
Google is also alerting G Suite administrators to increase users’ awareness of the risks their corporate network faces and provide them with early warning of a potential attack.
These alerts show up to 0.1 percent of all Gmail users, and recommend several measures to secure the account.
This includes enrolling in the advanced protection program, keeping the software up-to-date, and enabling Two-step verificationAlso, use (Google Authenticator) or a physical security key for 2-step verification.
Google has so far sent 3,3015 warnings of state-supported phishing attacks in 2020, including 11,856 alerts during the first quarter, 11,023 alerts in the second quarter, and 10,136 alerts in the third quarter.
The search giant said in March: It sent about 40,000 alerts related to phishing or hacking attempts through state-sponsored malware during 2019, a decrease of 25 percent compared to 2018.
Microsoft reported last month that it had observed state-sponsored hacking groups operating from Russia, China and Iran, actively targeting individuals and organizations participating in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Microsoft said at the time: We have directly informed those who have been targeted or hacked so that they can take action to protect themselves.
Google discovered one of the groups behind the attack being pursued by Microsoft, the China-backed (APT31) group, while targeting personal emails.
The APT31 group uses malware hosted within the Dropbox service, in addition to providing fake (McAfee Total Protection) installers within the victims’ computers to spread malware.
Google also spotted North Korean groups trying to focus on new goals of coronavirus research and drug companies.
Reports by Google and Microsoft confirm the intelligence that the US government shares about Russian, Iranian and Chinese piracy groups trying to endanger US political campaigns and candidates.