Google Inc (GOOG)’s War Against Account Hijackers

Google Inc (GOOG)’s War Against Account Hijackers
WDnetStudio / Pixabay

In light of the alleged recent cyber attacks by the Chinese, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) said on Tuesday that email hackers are coming from across the world and the trend seems to be on the rise.

Google Inc (GOOG)'s War Against Account Hijackers

On Tuesday, Mike Hearn, Google Security Engineer, wrote in a corporate blog, “Compared to five years ago, more scams, illegal, fraudulent or spammy messages today come from someone you know. Although spam filters have become very powerful — in Gmail, less than 1 percent of spam emails make it into an inbox — these unwanted messages are much more likely to make it through if they come from someone you’ve been in contact with before. As a result, in 2010 spammers started changing their tactics — and we saw a large increase in fraudulent mail sent from Google Accounts.”

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According to Google, to dodge spam filters, spammers are going into valid email accounts and sending mails to account’s contacts. These are considered serious attacks and Hearn noted, “We’ve seen a single attacker using stolen passwords to attempt to break into a million different Google accounts every single day, for weeks at a time. A different gang attempted sign-ins at a rate of more than 100 accounts per second.”

What can Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) do to stop this? Hearn explained that the disruptions can be held off by a “complex risk analysis” at the time someone attempts signing into account whether it’s on a daily basis or less frequently. From 120-plus variables, it can conclude if an account has been opened via a simple username and password or if something appears suspicious, Google will then use follow-up questions, including a phone number that comes with the account.

Since the company started utilizing these methods, compromised accounts have declined 99.7 percent since peaking in 2011.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) also recommended that users take their own initiative to make their email accounts secure by utilizing either a two-step verification or setting up recovery options, according to Hearn.

While this comes as disturbing news to email users, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) did have some good news on Tuesday.

Its stock hit $800 in the morning. This comes after Monday’s news that the company may open retail stores.

The stock hit $803 at 10:15 am EST, a rise of more than 1 percent. With the trading day half over, the stock is currently trading at $802, up 1.20 percent.

Aaron Kessler, senior research analyst with Raymond James, noted that with the company’s better than expected fourth quarter earnings reported in January, investors appear more “comfortable” with the company’s mobile business. But he is unsure whether the stores would add to Google’s sales growth.

He said via ABC News, “The Android ecosystem is doing pretty well. It continues to gain market share so it’s hard to say if that will really help them more.”

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s possible retail stores which would exhibit its consumer electronics products. This would come in competition with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s successful Apple stores.

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