Request for Reader Help: Has Your Gmail Been Hacked?


I mentioned several months ago that, soon after we returned from China, my wife's Gmail account had been hijacked, with surprising ripple effects, and that I'd be writing more about the episode later. The time for writing about it is here, and I'll have an article in the issue-after-next of the magazine. As a last part of the reporting process, I would be grateful to hear from people who meet the following conditions:
     -- You are a Gmail user.
     -- At some point during 2011 your Gmail account was hijacked or hacked.
     -- Large amounts of your email archives, or contacts, were deleted as part of the hijacking.

If that describes you, would you please send me the answers to the following questions?
    1) When did it happen? (Date)
    2) Did you get the maliciously deleted email/contacts back?
    3) If so, when did you get them? If not, what did Google tell you about the prospects for recovery?

There is an "email Fallows" button at the top of that screen. You can use that to send the reply. I heard from quite a number of people when this was happening to my wife, and now I am looking for others who have had similar experiences. All will be revealed when the article comes out. And, I will keep your name and contact info private. Thanks.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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