Code named Gaia after “Greek Goddess of Earth” a Google single sign on password system was hacked in December.
The NY Times reports “the intruders do not appear to have stolen passwords of Gmail users, and the company quickly started making significant changes to the security of its networks after the intrusions. But the theft leaves open the possibility, however faint, that the intruders may find weaknesses that Google might not even be aware of, independent computer experts said.”
Google is a significant part of many individuals and businesses online activities. Millions rely on Google every day to be fast, functional and most important, secure. A breach such as this may erode the confidence of Google users, but for many, they have all their eggs in one basket.
The hack occurred when a Google employee in China received an instant message over Microsoft’s IM program, and clicked and infected the link. Once the Google employees computers were hijacked the criminal hackers obtained access to his files and credentials. This gave the bad guy’s access to Google.
Google has since added layers of encryption and beefed up security for its data centers and end users.
However, now is a good time to go through all your passwords and change them up.
I’ve said this multiple times. DON’T CLICK LINKS IN EMAILS AND INSTANT MESSAGES. These links are merely conveniences. All you have to do is either go to whatever the link may be in your favorites menu or search out the site online. Spend the extra 30 seconds to leapfrog the links and go there manually.
1. Get a credit freeze and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.
2. Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk. (Disclosures)
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing a Google hack on Shepard Smith with Fox News.