Google’s new Gmail feature warns users when emails come from an unencrypted source

14 Nov 2015


Google has introduced a new feature in Gmail, which sends out a warning to its users whenever an email is received from an unencrypted source.

The move comes as part of the company's plans to bolster security and present  a firm defence against internet attacks.

Whenever a mail was sent and received between two different email providers, the message was left unencrypted, which made it vulnerable to attacks.

The feature had been introduced to curb internet attacks taking place between two email providers.

Google had noted that user's data was more vulnerable when they received a message sent through a different email provider.

Nicolas Lidzborski, Gmail Security Engineering Lead posted, "We're constantly working to help make email more secure for everyone. These efforts are reflected in security protections like default HTTPS in Gmail as well as our Safer Email Transparency report, which includes information about email security beyond just Gmail."

Google already had a number of security measures in place. For instance, Gmail relied strictly on an HTTPS connection for communication between a browser and its servers.

According to commentators, with the introduction of this feature, Gmail was warning its users against opening an unencrypted message.

"These warnings will begin to roll out in the coming months," Elie Bursztein and Nicolas Lidzborski of the Gmail security team said in a blog post this week.

"While these threats do not affect Gmail to Gmail communication, they may affect messaging between providers."

The announcement comes in the backdrop of rising email encryption along with measures to foil spam and fraud with better authentication of messages.

However, according to Google, it found regions of the internet where email encryption was being covertly thwarted. It also found malicious servers programmed to essentially hijack Gmail messages by giving them bogus routing information.

"While this type of attack is rare, it's very concerning as it could allow attackers to censor or alter messages before they are relayed to the email recipient," Bursztein and Lidzborski said in the post.

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