Gmail to alert users when email comes from unencrypted connections

In efforts to strengthen email security, Gmail will soon begin alerting users if an email has arrived over an unencrypted connection, according to Tech Crunch.

Currently, Google already uses secure HTTPs connections between browsers and its servers; however, emails between providers generally were unencrypted. Emails sent between Gmail users are always encrypted, and Google research found 57 percent of messages from other providers sent to Gmail are encrypted, too. But that leaves 43 percent as unencrypted messages.

Further research from Google, the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois found 94 percent of messages coming into Gmail can be authenticated, making phishing attacks much more difficult to execute. The study also found areas on the Internet that actively prevented message encryption, as well as malicious DNS servers that publish false routing information.

"These nefarious servers are like telephone directories that intentionally list misleading phone numbers for a given name," according to Google. "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 mail recipient."

Gmail users receiving a message through a nonencrypted connection will see a warning notifying them of the potentially unsecure connection. The warnings will roll out in the next few months, according to Google.

"Partnering with top researchers helps us make the email ecosystem as a whole safer and more secure for everyone," according to Google. "Security threats won't disappear, but studies like these enable providers across the industry to fight them with better, more powerful protections today and going forward."

More articles on cybersecurity:

Cybersecurity threats on the horizon: 10 insights from industry leaders
Children's Medical Clinics employee steals data of 16k patients
Mobile meets compliance: Keeping workers happy and information secure

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