Gmail China Hijacked by Chinese Hackers

Gmail has been revamping its contact manager and UI, however, in another part of the world, China to be specific, Gmail users are being scammed by hackers into giving away their usernames and passwords.


According to reports from Fast Company, for the past few weeks, several Gmail users are being redirected to a phishing site as seen in the screenshot above (courtesy FC) when they access This also happens when they access Gmail through the Google toolbar.

This is not the first time that Google has had a problem in China, earlier this year, some high profile Gmail accounts were hacked, leading Google to stop their search service in China and threaten a complete pullout from China. However, Google did not pullout of China and renewed their operating license last month.

The current redirection of the Gmail domain to a phishing site definitely looks like a DNS hack which might not have propagated fully, which is why only few users are being redirected to the phishing website. However, Google might have definitely rectified the issue by now, but this goes on to show that Google definitely is on receiving end in China.

Update: A Google Spokesperson Jay Nancarrow reached out to us to clarify about the issue Gmail users are facing in China, the statement is embedded below.

This phishing attempt is not unique to Gmail and should not be misconstrued. As always, users should be careful about where they share their personal information, and should avoid clicking through warnings about suspicious sites. We encourage Gmail users to visit directly

He also adds that this is on background and not for attribution, but the same IP address hosting the fake Gmail URL has hosted phishing pages for other popular online services in the past. Screenshots indicate that this URL was being flagged by our Safe Browsing tool as a suspicious site, which would have warned users before viewing the page.

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Keith Dsouza

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