Google+ email scam widening
Google +, the search giant’s new social network, has become the victim of a hacking group sending out bogus invites to the service, which instead directs users to a pharmaceutical website, says security firm.
A Canadian group of hackers called Partnerka, have been sending out fake invites to join the new service, which is still being trialled and only accessible via invitation only.
The fake invites look very similar to the ones being issued by Google+ members and appear as if they have come from a real member of the network.
However, when the recipient clicks through to join Google+, the link takes them to a Canadian pharmaceutical website selling Viagra.
Internet security firm Sophos, discovered the scam, which they are describing as “amateur”, late Friday evening. However, spam emails are still being sent today and growing in number.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “This group are trying to lure uses to a pharmaceutical website by using Google+ invites. The scam is still ongoing and spreading around the world. The scam is quite amateur at this stage as the link doesn’t even take the user to a Google-looking site from which the hackers could then grab users’ personal details. It just takes you directly to the wrong site and most people won’t fall for it – but they should still be careful and check the identity of the person supposedly sending them the invite to join Google+.”
Google launched the Facebook rival last week but only to a small trial group who can then invite others to join up.
The company’s new product is built around four separate features called Circles, Sparks, Hangout and Huddle.
Circles is the closest product to Facebook; it allows users to drag in contacts to individual groups. The aim is to allow people to share different things with different groups of people more easily. Google users will be able to add their contacts, or import them from Yahoo or Microsoft. Facebook does not permit the export of contact information to Google.