Google recently announced it uncovered a hijacking scam based out of China.
The company's engineer director for its security team, Eric Grosse, said because of its cloud-based security system, it uncovered a phishing attack originating from Jinan, China. The company said bad actors used malware and phishing scams to trick hundreds of users including senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries into collecting their passwords.
Account hijackings are typically used to steal financial data or simply send spam. Usually they are not targeted at individuals and just done en masse, however this one may have been more targeted Google says.
The goal of this effort seems to have been to monitor the contents of these users' emails, with the perpetrators apparently using stolen passwords to change peoples' forwarding and delegation settings, Grosse said in a blog post.
In the past, the relationship between Google and China has been shaky at best. In 2010, all searching via Google including mobile was banned in mainland China. Google moved its China Internet search service to Hong Kong during the qualm. The ban was eventually lifted, but certain search terms are still banned in the country.
Here's a look back at the history of China vs. Google.