What attackers want when they hack email accounts

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CNET’s Dan Patterson interviewed Mark Risher, director of product administration for id and account safety at Google, about what hackers are in search of and the way Google is ramping up account safety. The next is an edited transcript of the interview.

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Dan Patterson: Mark, are you able to assist us perceive, when dangerous actors, when hackers, when individuals who need to sniff out knowledge from accounts at Google, who’re a few of these actors and what particularly are they in search of?

Mark Risher: There’s all kinds of what persons are in search of and attempting to interrupt into accounts. Previously, and by quantity, it has traditionally been about industrial motivations. They had been trying to initially ship spam. We have all seen this on e-mail. After which to search out particular data that may be in your account that may very well be changed into a revenue.

Extra just lately although, we have seen some new and troubling assault vectors. One goes after the knowledge worth of what they discover there. This may very well be used for blackmail or for extortion functions, in addition to with the ability to hyperlink to different accounts that may be linked collectively, for instance, going after monetary belongings which can be linked to a different account.

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Dan Patterson: Once we hear tales about, oh, so and so firm was hacked, whether or not it is a knowledge dealer, or a social media firm, and even an e-mail supplier, these seem to be large scary hacks and knowledge breaches, however usually we do not correlate that with a secondary hack, or publish motion dangerous issues. What can occur? What is the fallout of an information breach?

Mark Risher: There is a bunch of issues that occur with knowledge breaches. One is that folks are likely to reuse their passwords on a number of completely different websites. Some small firm will get damaged into, exposes your password, however meaning that you’d nonetheless fall in one other place you have used the identical website. That is why we advocate that folks use a singular and completely different password on each website and retailer that in a password supervisor.

However there are different issues which can be occurring too. A latest development we have seen that is actually disturbing is that attackers use a few of this breached data so as to add credibility to a secondary one. For instance, you would possibly obtain an e-mail message that claims, “Dan, I have been watching you, I’ve really hacked into your pc and have entry to your whole secret data. As proof, this is the final 4 digits of your bank card quantity.” And then you definately learn this and also you say, “Oh my God, that’s the final 4 digits of my bank card quantity. This individual should be telling the reality. I higher pay the ransom that he is charging.”

Now, in actuality, that usually is just not the case, however that final 4 digits, by being in a single breach, can now be used to create a secondary channel for a revenue.

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