The extra security will roll out to users like government officials and journalists who are at a higher risk of being targeted by hackers. The company said it would initially provide three defenses against security threats, which include blocking fraudulent account access and protection against phishing. The update follows a U.S. presidential election last year that was shaped in part by the disclosure of emails by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks belonging to associates of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton that were obtained through phishing schemes.
Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google Inc said on Tuesday it would roll out an “advanced protection program” to provide stronger email security for some users such as government officials, political activists and journalists who are at a higher risk of being targeted by sophisticated hackers
The company said it would initially provide three defenses against security threats, which include blocking fraudulent account access and protection against phishing.
The program would include additional reviews and requests in the account recovery process to prevent fraudulent access by hackers who try to gain access by pretending they have been locked out. The rollout of a suite of new email security services by Google follows the U.S. presidential election last year shaped in part by the disclosure of emails by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks . Belonging to associates of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton that were obtained through phishing schemes.
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that those hacks, which included a breach of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s personal Gmail account, were carried out by Russia as part of a broader cyber campaign to help Donald Trump, a Republican, win the White House.
“If John Podesta had Advanced Protection last year, the world might be a very different place,” said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, who was briefed on the new features by Google.
Hall said the new features would grow the amount of high-risk consumers with strong protections against phishing campaigns, but that they would potentially create compatibility issues among some who already integrate custom security tools with their Gmail account . Google created a web page, g.co/advancedprotection, to walk users through setting up advanced protection, including where to purchase USB and Bluetooth security keys on Amazon (AMZN.O).