Google’s policy to send alerts to people with Google Accounts that are targeted by suspected state-sponsored hackers is getting a full work out in 2021. The company says it has already sent over 50,000 such warnings to users, marking a 33% increase from the same period in 2020.
“So far in 2021, we’ve sent over 50,000 warnings, a nearly 33% increase from this time in 2020. This spike is largely due to blocking an unusually large campaign from a Russian actor known as APT28 or Fancy Bear,” Google security engineer and Threat Analysis Group (TAG) team member Ajax Bash notes in a blogpost.
Shane Huntley from TAG tweeted on October 7 that the group had sent an “above average batch of government-backed security warnings yesterday”. TAG sends warnings over phishing attempts and malware attacks.
Google’s suggestion that Kremlin-backed hackers are a major problem chimes with Microsoft’s data that 58% of nation-state cyberattacks came from Russia over the past year.
The US National Security Agency warned in July that APT28 had run a massive password-guessing campaign targeting US and European organizations for the past two years.