25. April 2010 · Comments Off on Aurora – Why was Gmail China’s Target? · Categories: Breaches, Privacy · Tags:

Larry Seltzer has an interesting post about a conversation he had with Mikko Hypponen of F-Secure about the reason for the Operation Aurora attack in China against Google's Gmail service.I wrote about Aurora here and here. However, the question remains – why Gmail and not Yahoo or Microsoft's free email service?

Perhaps it's because only Gmail offers SSL encryption which prevents sniffing on the wire to read emails. Because the other free email services don't offer SSL, you can simply sniff the wire to read the emails on those services.

End users who have some level of security consciousness gravitate to Gmail. And if you want to read messages on Gmail, you have no choice but to hack the service itself as you are not going to crack SSL.