The Iranians are coming up to a general election and Google is worried about a significant jump in malicious activity.
Writing in its Online Security bog, Google said that the timing and targeting of the campaigns suggest that the attacks are politically motivated in connection with the Iranian presidential election.
The campaigns originate from within Iran, represent a significant jump in the overall volume of phishing activity in the region.
The new campaign is a simple lure to get unsuspecting users to enter their credentials into another site, without resorting to more sophisticated measures such as faking security certificates.
Given that opposition groups rightly feel that the elections will be stolen and create some unrest after the result, it might be that the phishing campaign is to net some hard data on those likely to cause trouble. Those using Google accounts are perceived as more likely to be pro-democracy.
Still it is a very hit and miss approach, and if the phishing numbers are big enough for Google to notice then the people hit are going to include large numbers of people who do not support the opposition.
The Iranians are talking about building their own internal internet and disconnect from the worldwide wibble. This would mean that its government would control all forms of communication and render any underhand tactics unnecessary.