Google Warns Iranian Users Their Accounts May Be Hacked

Iranian users of the Google email service are warned their accounts may be compromised, and advised to take action to protect their privacy.

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Chana Ya'ar,

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The giant Google search engine provider has warned its Iranian email users their accounts may be compromised by hackers.

The company warned that a hacker, known as "Comodohacker" stole a Google authentication certificate from the Dutch security firm DigiNotar in July.

DigiNotar validates and registers SSL (Secure Socket Layer) security certificates. The particular certificate stolen by Comodohacker was issued on July 10. It was revoked by the Dutch certification authority on August 29, according to e-Week.

Google advised users to change their password and verify account recovery options -- including secondary email addresses, phone numbers and other personal information used to retrieve a forgotten password. In addition, users are advised to check websites and other applications permitted to access the account, check settings for suspicious forwarding address, and pay attention to security warnings provided by your browser.

During the uprising by opposition protesters following the last election in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was "re-elected" but which many Iranians believed was a rigged vote, the government was accused of hacking into users' Internet accounts. These included not only email but also their social networking accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter accounts, in order to determine what the protesters' plans were.