Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Oops – Google password system might be hacked

There is a Washington Times article about hackers compromising the Google password system. Apparently hackers, possibly from China, gained access to the code for Google’s password system. Google has reacted to this and is taking steps to increase security.

Since the hackers got access to the source code there is a possibility that they can exploit the system even in spite of any additional precautions by Google.

Many people use Google for their business:

  • Google Mail can contain sensitive information such as passwords, credit card information and business plans
  • Google adwords accounts might be compromised where hackers can load their advertising on your sites
  • Many companies have sensitive information in Google Docs. Your company’s sensitive information could fall into hostile hands.
  • A merchant’s google shopping cart could be compromised leading to stolen information and goods.
  • Users of Google Calendar might find their schedules falling into the wrong hands.

In short, there is a possibility that your account could be compromised. The impact of this includes wholesale identity theft.

What can you do?

  • Given the nature of the attack, I’m not sure that changing passwords would protect you. There is also the chance that the password changing system could be compromised.
  • You should keep a close watch on all of your Google related accounts for any evidence of tampering.
  • It might be a good idea to go through your Gmail and Google Docs and clean out any sensitive information.

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