Google Warning Gmail Users: China Spied on Your AccountS

Google Warning Gmail Users: China Spied on Your AccountS

For days, Gmail has been displaying scary red banners above certain users' inboxes, warning "Your account was recently accessed from China." So, now you at least know if Chinese hackers are spying on your Gmail.

Threatpost says the users affected seem to be pretty randomly distributed—they found everyone from a privacy advocate, to the editor of a marketing blog, to doctors and gamers had been affected. The warning includes the IP address used to access the user's account, and a recommendation to change their password. (You've been able to check a log of who's accessed your account for a while, but Google has taken an extra step by actively warning users whose accounts have specifically been accessed by a Chinese IP address.)

The reaction on Twitter from people who have received the warnings have been appropriately perplexed:

Google Warning Gmail Users: China Spied on Your AccountS

Of course, this comes amidst extraordinary tension in Google-China relationships; not long ago Google essentially accused the Chinese government of coordinating hack attacks against its servers and threatened to leave China altogether. These warnings are both a smart way to bolster Google's latest efforts at transparency, and yet another signal to China: Don't mess with us.

Something tells us the users whose accounts were spied on by Google's own creepy engineer were not given a similar courtesy note.

[Picture of Eric Schmidt at Google China in 2006 from Getty]