Chinese Hackers Spoof Gmail To Target Gov’t Officials
Google has recently caught a series of phishing attempts targeted at United States and South Korean government officials. The attacks originated from Jinan, China and attempted to gain access to Gmail accounts of hundreds of users by tricking them into sharing their passwords. Chinese political activists, military personnel, and journalists were also victimized.
The attackers were seeking to monitor their victims’ e-mail accounts by changing the account settings to automatically forward messages. The attempts actually started in February and have been since ongoing. I can only hope that vital government data was not leaked to China.
The attackers also sent spoofed messages that appear to be from a known individual to the victim, containing identical elements to Gmail’s interface for downloading attachments. The malicious links brought the victims to a fake Gmail login page, prompting the victims to enter their password, giving the attackers full access to the account.
Google has notified the victims of the attack, secured their accounts, and alerted authorities. The Chinese government completely denies all wrong doing and are offended by the accusations, pointing that “their own people” were affected as well. Although that is technically true, let’s not forget that the Chinese who were cyber attacked were political activists who oppose the Chinese government. Hmmmm.