Google to protect 10,000 users in a special way

Google December Core Update 2020

Google has selected 10,000 of its users at high risk of being hacked, many of them politicians, human rights activists and journalists. To prevent them from suffering cyberattacks, the company has given them free of charge uSB security keys that has two-factor authentication installed. This way, your Google accounts will have an extra protection system in addition to the password.

Google will give some of its users USB security keys that has two-factor authentication installed to give their accounts extra protection

With this decision, Google launches a program of “advanced protection” aimed at influential users. In recent weeks, Google has been emailing some of these Gmail users to warn them that they could be the target of a cyber attack.

These alerts began arriving in late September. It was then that the company detected a hacker campaign to target 14,000 Gmail users “across a wide variety of industries.” According to the company, that campaign was being promoted by APT-28, also known as “Fancy Bear,” a group of cybercriminals linked to Russian intelligence services.

The goal of their attacks would be to get hold of those users’ passwords in order to steal their stored information. Already in 2016, the same group succeeded with one of their campaigns following the same procedure. Nearly 4,000 Gmail users, many of them linked to Hillary Clinton’s election campaign and the Democratic Party, were hacked. The information obtained was then used to influence the US elections that year, which were won by Donald Trump.

Subsequently, other Russian hacking groups carried out a coordinated cyberattack against European and American embassies in Italy, Bermuda, Kenya, and other countries.

One of the beneficiaries of this measure is the american journalist Barton Gellmanof The Atlantic magazine. On his Twitter account he said he had received a series of security warnings from Google. He has now become part of Google’s special protection program to prevent “foreign government-backed attackers from stealing his password”.

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