Don’t freak out.
On Monday afternoon, Gmail mistakenly sent multiple users a security alert, notifying them that an unknown device had signed into their account.
The number of affected users is currently unknown. However, according to a G Suite admin who chose to remain anonymous, the issue was widespread enough for Google to issue a notification about it in its Admin Panel. As of this writing, and according to the admin, Google was investigating the matter and said it had identified a potential cause, though it did not specify further.
A “new device sign in” notification is a freaky message to get, because it means that someone else has already successfully signed in to your account. Gmail informed users to change their passwords “right away.”
There’s good news, and there’s bad news, folks. The people who received this message can likely breathe easy(ish), because these alerts didn’t necessarily mean that intruders had accessed their accounts. Phew!
The bad news? These messages are actually what Google is describing as a “service issue,” meaning some sort of internal mistake it’s currently investigating.
Many people within Mashable’s parent organization, and others on social media, reported receiving the notification.
Anyone else get a new sign in notification for google that can’t be explained?
With the way I have two factor set up the most likely explanation is a bogus flagging of a connection as “new activity”.
— Kait the Great (@KaitlynHalfPint) May 20, 2019
Yep, from my two iOS devices, luckily originating from my IP.
— Markus Einarsson ?? (@einarssonm) May 20, 2019
Mashable has reached out to Google to learn more about the scope of this problem, and what could be behind it.
The admin told Mashable that Google had issued a notification on its dashboard for admins about the issue. So while we don’t know how many people were affected, the admin said this sort of notification typically means the problem is widespread. Google issued an update around 2 p.m. PT informing admins that it had identified a potential cause.
If you received an email, fear not — your account may be fine. Gmail engineers, on the other hand, are dealing with a big headache.
UPDATE: May 20, 2019, 6:01 p.m. EDT
Google told admins it had resolved the issue around 3 p.m. PT, though it did not provide further details about the cause.