Google detects tens of thousands of 'politically motivated' phishing attacks ahead of Iranian elections
According to Google the attacks have targeted tens of
thousands of users
The search engine giant Google has discovered and disrupted attempts to hack tens of thousands of Gmail accounts in Iran ahead of the country's forthcoming elections.
Writing in a blog post yesterday the Vice President of Security Engineering Eric Grosse said Google had "detected and disrupted" thousands of these attacks in the past three weeks.
Phishing attacks are emails which appear official but instead lead users to websites where they are encouraged to reveal data including usernames, passwords, and credit card details.
According to Google the attacks have targeted tens of thousands of users in total in what the company describes as most likely a "politically-motivated" defensive tactic.
"These campaigns, which originate from within Iran, represent a significant jump in the overall volume of phishing activity in the region," Grosse wrote on the Google security blog.
"The timing and targeting of the campaigns suggest that the attacks are politically motivated in connection with the Iranian presidential election on Friday," he added.
Mr Grosse goes on to explain that the targeted users receive an email containing a link to a web page that claims to provide a way to perform Google account maintenance.
If the user follows the link they are presented with a fake Google sign-in page that will steal their username and password.
The blog goes on to warn users that: "Especially if you are in Iran, we encourage you to take extra steps to protect your account."
"Watching out for phishing, using a modern browser like Chrome and enabling 2-step verification can make you significantly more secure against these and many other types of attacks."
Google also explains that the phishing attacks appear to be from the same group that targeted users in 2011.
Hassan Rouhani, a moderate cleric, has become the frontrunner in the elections to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday.
Life & Style blogs
What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
From criminal to catwalk: Convict Jeremy Meeks wins modelling contract in the most unusual fashion scouting – behind bars
Holi: Festival of colours honoured with Google Doodle – here's what you need to know about the celebration
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 GamerGate: developer Tim Schafer provokes rage with joke about online gaming activists at industry awards
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A long-established, technology rich ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing experience-led technology co...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has now arisen for a Sale...