Iranian elections are just around the corner and the event has taken on a global stature, given the immense interest of the world. While a lot of anticipation surrounds the elections in Iran, Google has now issued an alert about a large-scale phishing attack that has been launched against Iranian users.
According to Google’s vice president for security engineering, Eric Grosse, a huge campaign of email-based phishing has been launched against tens of thousands of Iranians, in an attempt to compromise their accounts and gain access to their personal as well as financial information.
The interesting part is that the origin of the phishing attacks seems to be within Iran. This essentially means that they are politically motivated and probably meant to disrupt apt communications during elections. Iran has a rather long history of trying to actively monitor and filter internet so that information from citizens may not trickle out to the global community.
In conjunction with these attacks, Google has also detected a significant drop in the usage of Gmail within Iran, days before the elections. Again, this may be an attempt by the current Iranian regime to shush out the online audience from citing their views in the cyberspace.
In his post, Grosse states, “Protecting our users’ accounts is one of our top priorities, so we notify targets of state-sponsored attacks and other suspicious activity, and we take other appropriate actions to limit the impact of these attacks on our users.” Technology has come about to play a critical role in ensuring free and fair elections around different countries. And if Iran wants the results of its upcoming elections to be acceptable, it should stop trying to strangle online free speech.