A new Gmail hacking tool that is capable of automatically stealing the Gmail IDs of non-encrypted sessions and breaking into Gmail accounts has been presented at the Defcon hackers’ conference in Las Vegas.
Last week Google introduced a new feature in Gmail that allows users to permanently switch on SSL and use it for every action involving Gmail, and not only, authentication. Users who did not turn it on now have a serious reason to do so as Mike Perry, the reverse engineer from San Francisco who developed this Gmail hacking tool is planning to release the tool in two weeks.
When you log in to Gmail account the website sends a cookie (a text file) containing your session ID to the browser. This file makes it possible for the website to know that you are authenticated and keep you logged in for two weeks, unless you manually click the sign out button. When you click sign out this cookie is cleared.Even though when you log in, Gmail forces the authentication over SSL (Secure Socket Layer), you are not secure because it reverts back to a regular unencrypted connection after the authentication is done.
According to Google this behavior was chosen because of low-bandwidth users, as SLL connections requires high bandwidth.The problem lies with the fact that every time you access anything on Gmail, even an image, your browser also sends your cookie to the website. This makes it possible for a hacker to sniff the traffic on the network to insert an image served from http://mail.google.com
Perry mentioned that he notified Google about this situation over a year ago and even though eventually it made this option available, he is not happy with the lack of information. “Google did not explain why using this new feature was so important” he said. He continued and explained the implications of not informing the users, “This gives people who routinely log in to Gmail beginning with an https:// session a false sense of security, because they think they’re secure but they’re really not.
“If you are logging in to your Gmail account from different locations and you would like to benefit from this option only when you are using unsecured networks, you can force it by manually typinghttps://mail.google.com
Some of the Simple and Effective ways to Hack Gmail (or any email password) and the Tools used for Hacking is discussed in my previous post Hacking an Email Account. It is highly recommended that you refer this post.