AAPL Stock: 112.12 ( + 2.62 )

Printed from

Google claims victory against account hijackers

updated 12:56 pm EST, Tue February 19, 2013

Algorithms protect against spammers

Google has claimed victory against account hijackers, claiming the number of legitimate accounts compromised by spammers has dropped by 99.7 percent since 2011. The company's latest security protocols have been developed in response to a surge in account hijacking starting in 2010, as cyber criminals began using stolen passwords to distribute spam from legitimate accounts in an attempt to bypass ever strengthening spam filters, according to a blog post from Google security engineer Mike Hearn.

"Because many people re-use the same password across different accounts, stolen passwords from one site are often valid on others," Hearn writes. "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."

Rather than relying solely upon password verification, Google developed a risk-analysis system that considers more than 120 variables to flag unauthorized login attempts. In the simplest form, sign-ins can be found suspicious if they originate from another country. If a user is legitimately traveling and attempting to log in, Google will ask for additional information, such as a phone number or the answer to a security question, before providing access to the account.

Despite the alleged success of Google's protection system, the Hearn stresses that users should still create strong, unique passwords for their account, or step up to a two-step verification, as the best protection against unauthorized access.

by MacNN Staff



Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Polk Hinge Wireless headphones

Polk, a company well-established in the audio market, recently released a new set of headphones aimed at the lifestyle market. The Hin ...

Blue Yeti Studio

Despite being very familiar with Blue Microphones' lower-end products -- we've long recommended the company's Snowball line of mics ...

ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector

Home theaters are becoming more and more accessible these days, but maybe you've been a bit wary about buying a home projector. And h ...


Most Commented