Gmail users hacked by Iran

2011-08-31 18:00
Amsterdam - Experts say the Iranian government may have been behind a hacking attack, allowing it to read Google e-mail from dissidents who thought they were using secure connections.

Chicago-based internet security firm Vasco said on Wednesday its Dutch subsidiary, DigiNotar, detected the hack on July 19, compromising its security guarantees for "a number of domains, including Google.com".

The company then quietly tried to fix the damage, but was alerted by the Dutch government on Monday that it had missed Google, and perhaps others.

Google said in a post on its online security blog that "people affected were primarily located in Iran".

It said that after consultation with Microsoft and Mozilla, users of the Chrome, Microsoft Explorer and Firefox browsers will receive warnings if they attempt to visit any website that uses DigiNotar certificates.

DigiNotar is one of the many firms that sells security certificates for the "SSL" cryptographic protocol - in effect, one of the digital notaries that guarantee the privacy of communications between a user's browser and a website.

The company said the hackers were able to get into its infrastructure and issue fake certificates.

Finnish security company F-Secure said such certificates can be used by a government or corrupt internet service provider to reroute traffic intended for Google without being detected.

"We saw a similar attack in May," the company said in a note on the incident published on its website.

"It's likely the Government of Iran is using these techniques to monitor local dissidents."

DigiNotar did not quickly respond to requests for information about what other bogus certificates were issued or how many users may have been affected, and where.

Vasco said DigiNotar only accounts for a tiny fraction of its business, and "the vast majority" of DigiNotar's offerings - including its security certificates for communication with the Dutch tax authority - were not affected.

- AP
Read more on:    google  |  iran  |  netherlands  |  internet security  |  online privacy
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.