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Hackers infiltrated personal Gmail accounts, Google says

June 1, 2011 |  5:38 pm

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Hackers in China launched a phishing campaign that obtained access to the personal Gmail accounts of hundreds of people, including U.S. government officials, Google said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The Internet company said it was able to "disrupt" the scam but believes the hackers were able to monitor the accounts of Chinese political activists, officials from several Asian countries, journalists, military personal and U.S. government officials. The hackers were able to obtain passwords to Gmail accounts and change settings to have the accounts grant access to other users or have emails forwarded to another account.

Google said the breech was not the result of internal system failures or a security problem and that it has notified victims and relevant government authorities of the account breaches.

Following the blog post, the White House said it had no reason to believe any U.S. government officials' email accounts had been improperly accessed, according to a Reuters news report.

Google listed several steps Internet users can take to better protect their private information. Among them was switching to Chrome, Google's own web browser.

"Review the security features offered by the Chrome browser. If you don’t already use Chrome, consider switching your browser to Chrome," Google said in its blog post.

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-- Salvador Rodriguez

twitter.com/sal19

Photo: An employee at Google's office in Seoul. Credit: Truth Leem / Reuters

 

Jinan, China
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