Google will provide 10,000 free security keys to high-risk people participating in government-backed phishing attacks. In a Twitter thread, Shane Huntley from Google’s Threat Analysis Group mentioned that Google has delivered a batch of government-backed security alerts to prospective high-risk customers. According to IANS, the state-sponsored phishing effort is the work of Russian organization APT28 (or Fancy Bear), which is claimed to be made up of GRU intelligence service agents.
Huntley issued the warning after more than 14,000 Gmail users reported being targeted in a state-sponsored phishing attack. Huntley elaborated on the government-backed security advisories that Google’s team sent to select customers. He was speaking to activists, journalists, and government officials. He mentioned that the government (probably the US government) will try to communicate something to its users at some time.
“These warnings indicate targeting not compromise. If we are warning you there’s a very high chance we blocked. The increased numbers this month come from a small number of widely targeted campaigns which were blocked,” he tweeted.
In a blog post, Google stated that phishing is one of the most common risks to all email users, since it aims to mislead users into providing a password that an attacker may use to login into your account. Google highlighted that its improved technology has allowed it to drastically reduce the number of phishing emails that reached our users. Google has subsequently worked on automated protections, account security (such as security keys), and specific alerts to provide Gmail users with peace of mind.