Google admits Middle Eastern governments could be spying on its users as it warns of ‘state-sponsored’ hacking attacks

Google has launched a new effort to warn its users that they could be the victims of cyberattacks from hostile governments.

Account-holders working in international relations, development and other sensitive areas have received messages from the search giant informing them of recent efforts to spy on their online history.

The move comes after the company started detecting ‘tens of thousands’ of new hacking attacks originating in the Middle East.

Google is a tempting target for hackers, as it is not focussed solely on search but also offers its users services such as email, mapping and Chrome, one of the most popular web browsers.

This week, according to the New York Times, users thought to have been targeted saw a message attached to their accounts saying, ‘Warning: We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer.’

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