Iranians are being phished ahead of election: Google

Summary:Google is warning Iranians that it is seeing a rise in what it believes are politically motivated phishing attacks ahead of the nation's presidential election.

Gmail users in Iran are again being targeted by phishing attacks, according to Google, which claims that it has seen a significant jump in malicious activity.

The new campaigns were spotted almost three weeks ago by Google, which noted on its Online Security Blog that "the timing and targeting of the campaigns suggest that the attacks are politically motivated in connection with the Iranian presidential election on Friday".

"These campaigns, which originate from within Iran, represent a significant jump in the overall volume of phishing activity in the region."

Google has previously warned Iranians of possible intrusions to their accounts when DigiNotar security certificates were compromised, allowing attackers to set up their own servers posing as Google's mail servers and capture login details.

It now notifies any user, Iranian or not, if it believes their account may have been compromised.

The new campaign itself appears to be a simple lure to get unsuspecting users to enter their credentials into another site, without resorting to more sophisticated measures such as faking security certificates.

The Iranian government's attitude toward Google and the wider internet itself has been a point of controversy. In September last year, it announced plans to create its own domestic version of the internet , and to block Google's search and email services.

Topics: Security, Google


A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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