Google has announced in a blog post that the company will alert users if they think their accounts have been targeted by “state-sponsored attacks.” Currently, if Google suspects that a Gmail account has been accessed by unauthorized third parties, they display a warning. But now, this warning is going much further, and will specify when Google thinks that state-sponsored attacks have occurred.
If you see this warning it does not necessarily mean that your account has been hijacked. It just means that we believe you may be a target, of phishing or malware for example, and that you should take immediate steps to secure your account.
Google adresses the question of how they know who is behind such attacks:
You might ask how we know this activity is state-sponsored. We can’t go into the details without giving away information that would be helpful to these bad actors, but our detailed analysis – as well as victim reports – strongly suggest the involvement of states or groups that are state-sponsored.
So, while this is vague, you should certainly take note if you see such a warning when accessing your Gmail account.