AMSTERDAM - About 300,000 Internet users in Iran have been spied on last month by one or several hackers who stole security certificates from a Dutch IT firm, a report presented by the Dutch government said on Monday.
Using a stolen certificate the hacker, or hackers, monitored people who visited Google.com, could steal their passwords and could obtain access to other services such as Facebook and Twitter, said Dutch IT firm Fox-IT, which wrote the report.
A certificate guarantees that a web surfer is securely connected but a stolen certificate enables a hacker to pretend a web surfer is securely connected to a website without the surfer knowing he is being monitored.
The report, which Dutch Interior Minister Henk Donner sent to the Dutch parliament, confirmed a statement last week from Google when it said that it had received reports of attacks on Google users and that "the people affected were primarily located in Iran."
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