Entries with tag gmail.

Gmail Experiences Long Service Disruption

Technical problems disrupted Google’s Gmail service, affecting about half the service’s estimated 450 million users during a 10-hour period. It is “one of the longest, most widespread Gmail disruptions in years,” noted the PC World website. A failure affected two redundant network paths, according to Sabrina Farmer, Gmail’s senior site reliability engineering manager. “This is a very rare event,” wrote Farmer. “The two network failures were unrelated, but in combination, they reduced Gmail’s capacity to deliver messages to users.” Users experienced e-mail delivery delays and problems downloading attachments. The severity and length of issues varied among users. Farmer estimated that 71 percent of e-mails were unaffected by the network problem. However, 1.5 percent of Gmail was delayed by more than two hours, according to Farmer. The figures do not reflect users on other e-mail platforms who may have experienced issues in receiving or sending messages to Gmail users. Google says it is working to ensure such problems do not recur by measures that include improvements in Gmail’s backup capacity and network resiliency. (PC World)(Official Gmail Blog)

Tool Calculates Potential Value of E-Mail to Hackers

A new research tool scans a user’s Gmail account to calculate the potential benefit hackers could realize by exploiting the account and then stealing and selling valuable personal information. The Cloudsweeper tool, created by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers, uses the Open Authentication protocol that allows the tool to connect to a Gmail account and search through messages. It then provides a list of the number of retail accounts connected to that address, which include sites such as Amazon or Groupon, that attackers could seize should they gain access. The tool then consults its database and calculates the account’s value based on their current black-market resale price to hackers who want to use the data to steal money or for other illegal purposes. (SlashDot)(Krebs on Security)(Cloudsweeper)

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