Google Reveals Why Your Account Is Most Likely To Be Hacked

Third-party password breaches are the easiest means for hackers to break into your Gmail accounts: Google

To carry out the study, Google partnered up with the University of California, Berkeley, analyzing the online black market from March 2016 to March 2017.

According to the Mountain View company, 12 percent of the exposed data via third-party breaches used Gmail addresses as usernames, and the passwords for 7 percent of those accounts were reused in other services, meaning that they were more vulnerable to hacks and other online attacks. "We're constantly working to improve these tools, and our automatic protections, to keep your data safe", Google says. People use their Google accounts as the base for all major social media and online accounts.

That finding hits close to home. Of those passwords though, only seven per cent were valid due to reuse. Numerous attacks that landed in our inboxes can be sourced back to Nigeria. Google has faced issues for third party hacking and several security issues reported by users and they have strived hard to make their users experience better.

While some phishing kits are basic, they serve an essential function; namely, they often lead users to believe there is a problem, and look just convincing enough to fool someone into sharing their password and other identifying information.

"Our research tracked several black markets that traded third-party password breaches, as well as 25,000 blackhat tools used for phishing and keylogging", said Google. And if the hackers are not able to hijack any account then in that case they are using secret tools for extracting the personal details including: phone numbers, IP addresses, device types and locations of users.

In short, the threats online can be summed up to three MOs: keylogging, third-party breaches, and phishing, which has been discovered to be the biggest threat among the three. However, one upside to the data collected is that most victims are only impacted once, as only two percent of those in the dataset were successfully phished a second time.

There are many way in which hackers break into your Gmail accounts. Google said the investigation showed how this information was obtained. Despite providing ample protection for your accounts, Google still recommends using a password generator and activating two-factor authentication to make your credentials "unphishable".

The study was presented at the Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) in Dallas, Texas and is now available in full from Research at Google.

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