Google has identified several state-sponsored hacking attempts on its users, which as reported by the company's Threat Analysis Group (TAG), over 90 percent of users targeted were in form of "credential phishing emails" which is aimed at tricking the victims to gain access to their account.
The TAG initiative tracks more than 270 hacking groups believed to be government-backed, from about 50 countries which are involved in perceived intelligence gathering, and stealing of intellectual property, which cyber attacks are targeted at journalists, dissidents, and activists, or for spreading misinformation.
Google as a preventive measure on the evolving trend of digital warfare by nation-states engaging in cyber attacks against organizations and individuals with vested interests and concerns have moved to launch TAG, a notification system aimed at alerting users whose accounts are most likely at risk of such government-backed attacks.
With the era of nation-states engaging in digital warfare upon us, another report on Russian military backed hacking group named Sandworm, launching some of the most deadly cyber-attacks in history, that first surfaced in 2014 with a cyber-attack on the Ukrainian electric grid .
Sandworm, in 2016 struck the Ukrainian power-grid again, which was a disruptive attack on an enemy in what was seen as been in the midst of a kinetic war. But thanks to some error in configuration of Sandworm’s malware, the attack that could have been more devastating, had only a lesser effect.
If the malware had been able to wrought its full programmed commands, It could have completely burned down the power lines or even blown-up transformers, the sort of destructive that could only be imagined.
Google will constantly lookout for such malicious activities on their systems, and if any instance of such activities are detected or any attempt to login to users account unauthorized, it will alert the user by showing warning notifications. Albeit, the warnings doesn't mean your account is actually compromised, rather it is meant to alert you that you are a target of state-sponsored cyber-attacks.
Therefore, it is recommended that such high-risk users who are targeted should take some measures to help protect their accounts, which include keeping software up-to-date and using of Authenticator app or Security Key, which is the best security defense according to Google.