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Iranian government said to be using MITM hack to spy on Gmail, other Google services

Hacker groups like Anonymous and LulzSec capture the bulk of mainstream media’s attention when it comes to hackers these days, but it looks like the Iranian government may have recently pulled off an attack that trumps both hacker groups and then some. According to reports, Iranian hackers with ties to the government have managed to executive an MITM attack that compromises Google’s SSL security. An MITM attack, or Man-In-The-Middle attack, is a cyberattack that allows an attacker to covertly intercept or even modify data as it is being transmitted between two computers over the Internet. Using a certificate issued on July 10th by Dutch SSL certificate authority DigiNotar, Iranian hackers have reportedly been able to spy on communications sent via Gmail and other Google services for more than five weeks. DigiNotar revoked the compromised SSL certificate on Monday, however most browsers do not check to see if a certificate has been revoked by default. As such, Mozilla has already released an update to Firefox and Thunderbird that revokes trust for the DigiNotar certificate, and Google said it will soon release a similar update for Chrome. Apple and Microsoft have yet to address the matter publicly or state if and when we can expect updates to Safari or Internet Explorer.

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Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.