AfterDawn: Tech news

Hacked Google accounts down 99.7% from peak

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Feb 2013 22:18 User comments (1)

Hacked Google accounts down 99.7% from peak Google has given details about its fight against account hijacking, showing how the company has reduced the amount of accounts stolen by 99.7 percent since a peak in 2011.
Most Google accounts hijacked are compromised because of poor password decision making. Many Internet users tend to use the same password for every service they use, so they can easily remember their login details each time. This presents an obvious problem; only one of those services needs to be hacked to put all of your other accounts at risk.

This is exactly what Google has observed happening in recent years. The spam filter for its service only allows less then 1 percent of spam to get through to inboxes, so spammers changed their habits in recent years.

Compromised databases of passwords and other items are sold in underground markets to spam groups who will then check the passwords against stored e-mail addresses. If successful, the spammers will send more personalized e-mails to contacts.

"We've seen a single attacker using stolen passwords to attempt to break into a million different Google accounts every single day, for weeks at a time," Mike Hearn, Google Security Engineer, wrote. "A different gang attempted sign-ins at a rate of more than 100 accounts per second."

Google takes some extra steps to confirm that you are who you say you are, every time there is a login attempt (whether it is through a browser or some other method.) More than 120 variables determine the validity of the login, and if anything seems awry, then Google will prompt for more information.

For example, if a login attempt appears to come from a location that is very remote from your previous login, Google may ask for the phone number associated with the account, or for the answer to the security question.

Since Google added more variables, the number of compromized accounts has fallen by 99.7 percent since a peak in June 2011. Time for spammers to evolve again.

Tags: Google
Previous Next  

1 user comment

120.2.2013 4:01
luckyrainrspot
Unverified new user

ilove ur site

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest news

A bug in Chrome allows you to download Netflix movies A bug in Chrome allows you to download Netflix movies (25 Jun 2016 15:21)
A group of security researchers have found a vulnerability in Google's Chrome browser that allows downloading movies straight from Netflix. This is obviously not a feature especially the entertainment ....
7 user comments
Three out of four Netflix customers would rather cancel than watch ads Three out of four Netflix customers would rather cancel than watch ads (25 Jun 2016 14:05)
For a long time Netflix was adamant on its pricing. No changes were made for a long time and everything seemed to be good. The markets obviously reacted and more expensive deals and original ....
4 user comments
Apple Music left in the dust, Spotify at 100 million subscribers Apple Music left in the dust, Spotify at 100 million subscribers (25 Jun 2016 12:01)
Spotify has told The Telegraph that it has surpassed the 100 million mark in subscribers. Paying subscribers was earlier this year reported to have passed 30 million. Apple meanwhile is having ....
2 user comments
Rumor has it that Apple has cancelled iPhone's dual camera Rumor has it that Apple has cancelled iPhone's dual camera (18 Jun 2016 18:05)
The next iPhone will be a major upgrade to current iPhone 6s. This biyearly full upgrade cycle provides us with a bigger upgrade every two years. But how will Apple update its number one product, ....
6 user comments
OnePlus releases new flagship killer, smaller X discontinued OnePlus releases new "flagship killer", smaller X discontinued (18 Jun 2016 16:11)
The small Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus took the world by storm two years ago by releasing a super cheap flagship smartphone. They called it the flagship killer, and it indeed challenged ....
4 user comments

News archive