I’ve been using Gmail since day one. One of the many reasons I’ve stuck with Gmail all this time is, the alert service Google provides in Gmail. The “Last account activity: … minutes ago at this IP..” alert.
Just as I monitor my open connections while on the Internet, I also scan the account activity alert frequently, while logged in to Gmail. So, I was more than a little surprised this morning when I saw the following alert.
As an Internet professional, I can say with a reasonable amount of conviction, that malware on my machine is not the issue here. And, I can say with absolute confidence, that I have never been the victim of a scam, or a successful phishing attempt. In order to reduce exposure to hacking attempts, I have never been careless and accessed Gmail from an unsecure computer, or a hotspot.
Despite all of that, and after 20 years of experience using Webmail, my Gmail account has been hacked. Curiously, this is the Gmail account that I specifically set up to handle reader comments on this site.
I’m not suggesting that I have been specifically targeted by Nigerian hackers because of my frequent robust articles on the lunatic efforts of these cyber criminals, but……
There is a much more likely explanation, and it’s this – hacking kits are widely available on the Internet which make it possible for even hacker “wannabes”, to hack into Gmail as the following screen capture illustrates.
Hacking kits are widely available, not only for email accounts, but virtually any application you could name.
I’m uncertain if Google has a current security issue, and is being less than frank in its disclosure, but I am certain of this – ANY website, or service, can be hacked.
Google is not immune to hacking, as the fairly recent fiasco in China, in which Chinese hackers compromised Chinese activists’ Gmail accounts, illustrates. In fact, Gmail hacking is a much more common occurrence than most users are aware of. If you want confirmation of this, then Google “my Gmail has been hacked”.
What I find very annoying is, Gmail, WordPress, and others, simply refuse to acknowledge, that vulnerabilities exist in their systems – especially WordPress.
Listen up WordPress – if the Pentagon can be hacked, and it has been, frequently, then WordPress is definitely NOT invulnerable to hacking, despite your assurances to the contrary.
I have made substantial changes which hopefully will thwart these hackers, which, for obvious reasons I will not disclose here.
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