According to recent reports, email servers are becoming more secure, and the use of strong encryption practices are increasing. However, the news isn’t all good, as the number of internet attacks that change encrypted connections into non-encrypted connections is also increasing. When this happens, email messages are available in plaintext for hackers to easily read.
Making matters worse is that email users do not know when they have been targeted. It is impossible to know if a hacker has decrypted your once protected email and is able to access it.
The findings are the result of a recent research paper that analyzes email delivery in terms of security. The paper was presented at a conference that was held by computer researchers from Google, the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois. At the conference, Google said that it is working to solve this problem.
Another report indicates that Google is designing an alert system that will inform users when they are receiving emails from connections that are not secure. According to Google, these notifications will be put into place in the coming months, but key details still need to be worked out.
The email attacks are somewhat unusual, as the attackers seem to only target messages between different email servers. For instance, emails sent between two Gmail accounts won’t be targeted. However, an email sent from Yahoo to Gmail is vulnerable.
According to the authors of the paper, the attacks are not always malicious. Sometimes, they are simply caused by legitimate email filtering practices. Still, the fact that some email messages are being sent using unsecure methods is extremely concerning to users.
Earlier this year, Google introduced Password Alert, which displays a notice whenever a user inputs their Google account information into an untrusted site. Starting in 2012, Google began notifying its Gmail users when they believed that they might be the target of a hacking attempt.