Google to revamp security to fight political hacks

The yet-to-be-announced update is aimed at executives and political figures

Gmail app icon

Google is reportedly preparing a security update to protect against against cyber attacks and political hacking.

The update, dubbed the Advanced Protection Program, is expected to be rolled out next month and will offer new features for protecting its various software suites, according to Bloomberg, quoting two people familiar with Google's internal workings.

It's thought the new tool would effectively replace the need for two-factor authentication, and instead replace it with two physical keys. The update is reportedly aimed at senior company executives and political figures, those most at risk of being targeted by hackers.

Google's USB Security Key has been providing two-factor authentication since 2014, allowing users to plug a dongle into a machine to create tougher security measures across GSuite tools and websites.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

According to the sources, the new security tools will continue to make use of the USB Security Key, but will also include a second physical key for added protection.

It's unclear what specific functions the new update will bring, though the sources confirmed that the service will block third-party applications from accessing email and Google Drive accounts by default, and will receive regular updates to expand its capabilities.

During last year's US presidential election campaign, a high-profile hack on the Democratic National Committee led to the leak of email accounts belonging to senior Democratic party officials, including those belonging to Hillary Clinton's and Bernie Sanders' campaigns.

Google has been working to address vulnerabilities in its own platform. In May users were hit by a widespread Google Docs phishing scam which tricked users into clicking a link, granting a malicious third-party application access to address books and Gmail accounts.

Since then, Google has introduced AI-driven early warning mechanisms for phishing scams, click-time alerts for links contained inside emails, and new warning messages that notify users if an email recipient is outside their business network.

Google's latest tool is expected to arrive next month, however the company has yet to make any public announcement.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Picture: Bigstock

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now


cloud computing

Google adds partners to real-time translation tools

8 Jan 2020

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2019: All the year’s best hardware

24 Dec 2019
search engine optimization (SEO)

Google is getting worse as it does more

21 Dec 2019
internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019

Most Popular

mergers and acquisitions

Xerox to nominate directors to HP's board – reports

22 Jan 2020
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
public sector

UK gov launches £300,000 SEN EdTech initiative

22 Jan 2020
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020