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Government may serve notice to Google over phishing attack


The Indian government is planning to serve notice to search giant Google for not informing them about the phishing attack, which is said to impact around 500 users in the country.

The government is reportedly seeking more details from the search engine like the nature of peoples’ data or information stolen and the organisations behind the phishing attacks.

Generally, phishing is used to obtain users’ information such as names, passwords and credit card details by posing as a trustworthy entity over electronic communication.

Google should have informed the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) about these attempts, said an ET report quoting a government official.

The official further said that Google might not face as much scrutiny as Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp where spyware was injected exploring vulnerability of the platform to snoop on users.

The problem is not with Google, the attacks were mostly through phishing therefore there is no need for more scrutiny, another govt official was quoted as saying in the report.

According to the global phishing map shared by Google last week, the search engine sent more than 12,000 warnings to users globally, including 500 in India from July to September this year.

These groups have many goals, including intelligence collection, stealing intellectual property, targeting dissidents and activists, destructive cyber attacks, or spreading coordinated disinformation.

The search engine did not reveal any further details about “government-backed actors” and the individuals who were targeted.

Journalists, human rights activists, and political campaigns could be high-risk users being targeted by the government, Google had said in a blog post.

The development comes after Facebook-owned WhatsApp revealed snooping of over 100 users, including Indian journalists and rights activists through Isreali spyware Pegasus.

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