Google+: A Magnet for Scams and Malware

Regardless of being a big web giant, Google too is not safe from malware and scams. This time, it is the newest social network site that is being targeted. Just been a month, and Google+ has attracted over 20 million users. These users have been invited by other users, and “referrals” has been the main reason for this good user number. Google+ is a social layer that turns all of Google search engine into one giant social network. The service allows users to share photos, links and videos with friends, family and acquaintances. The unique part so far is that you can share with specific people your stuff rather than everyone. But unfortunately, this has also been the root cause of scams that has been generated specifically for this new forum. Many fake sites have been uploaded that invite the users to fill out survey forms in order to get a free invite. When the users dismiss these surveys, another page opens up providing the users with two options. Either to download the free invite after answering a survey or to obtain the invite in exchange of certain fee. If the user chooses to go for the surveys, then they are asked to fill in real information about themselves, before they are allowed to proceed to the surveys. And unsuspecting users fill out these forms, not knowing they are giving their information in the hands of cyber attackers.

This exercise leads to nothing as no account is created- the attackers are after the user personal information, and the would be user is left frustrated. According to Myla Pilao, director of core technology marketing from Trend Labs, perceived scarcity of accounts have led these scammers to cash in. According to recent reports, some fake Google+ invites contained links to malware, specifically banking Trojans, which are a family of malware aimed at stealing log-in information related to banks. When clicked, the links redirect a user to a commonly used .cmd file hosted at Dropbox. Accompanying this message is a link to another document hosted at Google Docs, but is essentially a fake form created to collect names and e-mail addresses of new victims. Google+ an attempt to be in between Twitter and Facebook, though maybe catching on, but this ease of aggregating information in one place is a warning for users. This has opened up avenues for more malware and spam attacks. Stay updated with the latest happenings, but does so behind a secured environment like the VPN network, that not only provides you  a reliable connection, you also get a secured environment with an anonymity feature. Log in and connect with millions but remember to stay web safe!

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