Google is showing users its most terrifying warning yet

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A number of high profile journalists and academics have reported receiving an alarming message from Google, which warns them they could have been a victim of state sponsored hacking.

The warning is displayed when they try to login to their Gmail account.

Journalists who who took to social media to report receiving the warning include

Paul Krugman from the New York Times, Julia Ioffe from Politico, Yahoo News’ Garance Franke-Ruta, and New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait.

Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for Barack Obama and Michael McFaul, the former United States Ambassador to Russia also said they had received the warning.

The warning reads: “Google may have detected government-backed attackers trying to steal your password.”

Google has actually been displaying these warnings to users since 2012 but the number of reports of social media of people receiving them has surged in the last 24 hours, according to Ars Technica.

An official statement from Google said the warnings were connected to hacking attempts that occurred over the past month rather than anything more recent.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Google told Mashable: “We send these warnings out of an abundance of caution — they do not indicate that a user’s account has already been compromised or that a more widespread attack is occurring when they receive the notice”.

“Anyone that receives one should follow the instructions in the warning, and we further recommend that all users routinely do a Google Account Security Checkup.”

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