[OMG] White House Direct Gmail Hacking and Accuse China?

WASHINGTON — The computer phishing scam that Google says originated in China was directed at an unknown number of White House staff officials and set off the FBI inquiry that began this week, according to several administration officials.

It is unclear how many White House staff members — or those of other departments in the executive branch — might have been targeted, according to two officials with knowledge of the investigation. But the intended victims ranged across different functions in the White House, and were not limited to those working on national security, economic policy, or trade areas that would be of particular interest to the Chinese government.

Administration officials said they had no evidence any confidential information was breached, or even that many people fell for the attack by providing information that would allow a breach of their Gmail accounts. White House classified systems run on dedicated lines and information on those systems, the officials said, cannot be forwarded to Gmail accounts. But investigators are trying to determine if the attackers believed that some staff members or other officials used their personal e-mail accounts for sensitive government communications.
“Right now,’’ said one senior official, “that’s a theory, not a fact.’’

Google disclosed the attack this week and said it targeted not only US government officials, but also human right activists, journalists, and South Korea’s government. Google tracked the attack to Jinin, China, which is the home to a Chinese military school.

But that does not necessarily mean the attackers were Chinese or related to the government. The Chinese government denied any involvement.

The attack used e-mails that appeared to be tailored to their targets to better fool their victims. Recipients were asked to click on a link to a phony Gmail login page that gave the hackers access to their personal accounts.


Bookmark and Share

[OMG] Gmail glitch erases emails from 150,000 accounts

Google working to restore all affected accounts in 12 hours’ time.

WASHINGTON – Google was restoring service to Gmail users on Monday who had email messages deleted from their inboxes over the weekend.Bookmark and Share

“For those Gmail users reporting missing messages, our engineers are working to restore them as soon as possible,” Google said on a webpage that provides updates on the status of its various products.

“Affected users will be temporarily unable to sign in while we repair their accounts,” the Mountain View, California-based company said.

Google said less than 0.08 percent of the users of the free Web-based email service had been affected by the problem.

Google does not release official figures for the total number of Gmail users but they are estimated to number around 200 million.

Google said Monday it expects to fully restore the Gmail accounts of users who saw their emails deleted from their inboxes over the weekend.

“We hope to have everybody back by the end of the day,” said Andrew Kovacs, a Google spokesman. “It is our expectation that we will restore all accounts.”

Google said less than 0.02 percent of the users, or about 38,000 accounts, of the free Web-based email service had been affected by the problem, fewer than previously reported.

Google had said earlier the problem affected 0.08 percent of Gmail users.

It says everything should be resolved within 12 hours.

Gmail disruptions, while rare, are seen by some industry analysts as a setback to the Mountain View, California-based Google’s efforts to promote Gmail and other Web-based services to businesses.