So, this morning, I put up a comment - get an error, and then try to log on to this gmail account.
We've detected evil things happening. Please jump through some fiery hoops to verify ...
Okay - what? Enter my country and my mobile number and I get an unlock code SMS'd to me. Which gets me in to the email (and the blogger account had been locked too.)
Who is this protecting? If I was an evil hacker, spammer or other assorted nefarious toe-rag who had gained illegitimate access to this account, I'm still there and all Google now have is an SMSable number (and I'd have used a free or hacked VOIP account in an irrelevant country to get the code.) Clearly, it doesn't protect the "real" Surreptitious Evil, either.
So, we have a bit of security protocol, triggered by something (quite possibly the stream of 414s) that doesn't appear, at first or second glance, to do anything constructive. I'll have a bit more of a think about it, I suppose.