Google today confirmed that the Gmail accounts of a number of U.S. senators and their employees have been attacked by hackers who have been granted state aid. This appears to be the case after Senator Ron Wyden wrote a letter in which he reported that the personal mail accounts of some senators and their assistants had been attacked by hackers from foreign powers.

Wyden didn’t tell us what kind of mail account it was, but he did tell us that the senators and their employees were approached by a technology company about targeted hacking attacks. Those attacks have taken place over the past few weeks or months. Now Google has confirmed that it has contacted the senators and staff itself.

Focused on Gmail

Google did not confirm which mail accounts were affected, so it is not certain which senators were attacked. However, Googles SVP of Global Affairs stated Kent Walker in a statement that in recent months several attempts by government-backed actors from different countries to hack into political campaigns, journalists, activists and academics from all over the world. For each of these attacks, we informed the users as well as the authorities.

Last month, Google announced that it had managed to repel a number of hack attacks on Gmail. At the same time, the company stated that users whose accounts have been attacked are always notified. Apart from that, Google is not the only company with a mail service that has been specifically attacked. Microsoft also has to deal with such attacks.

Influencing elections

In all cases, these are attempts by certain governments, many of them Russian, to influence elections. Trying to find scandals in mail accounts and use fake news to send social media voters in the choices they make. It is difficult for tech companies to always respond in a timely manner, but it is much needed.

That’s what Senator Wyden is calling for. This has to change. The November elections are approaching and Russia continues to attack our democracy. The Senate does not have the luxury of delaying in dealing with these attacks.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.