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Government-backed attackers targeted 12,000 Google users in July-Sept: TAG Report

Government-backed attackers targeted 12,000 Google users in July-Sept: TAG Report
Photo Credit: Reuters

Google sent out warnings to 12,000 users across 149 countries between July and September this year that they were targeted by government-backed attackers.

The exact number of users for India could not be ascertained, though a graph shared by the Mountain View, California headquartered technology giant in a blog post showed that the number of users in India was under 500. Neighbouring Pakistan was higher at more than 1,000 users.

The company’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) works to counter targeted and government-backed hacking against Google and its users. The group is dedicated to detect and defeat threats, and warning targeted users and customers using Google products including Gmail, Drive and YouTube.

TAG tracks over 270 government backed groups in over 50 countries. These groups spreads coordinated disinformation, destructive cyber-attacks or target dissidents and activists.  

The company claims over 90 percent of the users were targeted via “credential phishing emails.” The emails usually target to obtain passwords or other account credentials to hack into the user account.

“We encourage high-risk users like journalists, human rights activists, and political campaigns to enroll in our Advanced Protection Program (APP), which utilizes hardware security keys and provides the strongest protections available against phishing and account hijacking," the company said in the post.

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