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Over one million Google accounts hacked, Israeli company reveals

Google announced it would add a new office building to a complex currently under development behind London's King's Cross train station
Leon Neal (AFP/File)
Malware gives hackers complete control of the user's smartphone, including email accounts

A fresh Android security breach has resulted in more than one million Google accounts being hacked, security researchers at Israeli software security company Check Point revealed Wednesday, Israel's Channel 2 News reported. 

According to the researchers, attackers were able to gain access to the personal information of over one million GMAIL users, according to Channel 2 News.

The malware detected by Check Point is called "Julian" and gives hackers complete control of the user's smartphone, allowing them to steal private e-mail information and user authentication codes.

"The theft of information from more than one million Google accounts is very alarming and represents the next stage cyber attacks," said Checkpoint's head of mobility product management Michael Shaulov. "We are witnessing a change in strategy by hackers, who are now attacking mobile devices to obtain sensitive information stored on them."

In August Checkpoint  exposed four security flaws that they said could potentially affect some 900 million Android phones.

The bugs were found in software on processors manufactured by US firm Qualcomm.

The flaws, located in code that controls how different components of the phone communicate with each other as well as inside graphics software, was found as Checkpoint teams spent six months reverse engineering Qualcomm's code, said Shaulov at the time.

"I'm pretty sure you will see these vulnerabilities being used in the next three to four months," Shaulov said, adding "It's always a race as to who finds the bug first, whether it's the good guys or the bad."

The flaws and relevant data were given to Qualcomm and Google by Checkpoint earlier this year, and presented by the cyber security company at the Def Con cyber security conference in Las Vegas. The Qualcomm has used the data to create software patches for phones that have already been sold and are modifying the processors in their factories, according to the BBC.


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