Phishing attacks pose the “greatest threat” to users of Google services

Washington: Google says that phishing attacks pose the “greatest threat” to users of its services.

The company has studied the ways in which hackers steal people’s passwords and break into their accounts.

In the space of 12 months, it found 788,000 login credentials stolen via keyloggers (tools that secretly record every key you press), 12 million stolen via phishing (a method of tricking you into giving up your personal information), and 3.3 billion exposed by third-party data breaches.

According to the company, 12-25 per cent of phishing and keylogger attacks against Google accounts result in a valid password being exposed.

However, attackers are going further than this. They’re using tools that also attempt to work out targets’ phone numbers, IP addresses, device types and locations, in case a password isn’t enough to successfully hijack an account.

“By ranking the relative risk to users, we found that phishing posed the greatest threat, followed by keyloggers, and finally third-party breaches,” said Google.