The release of Google+ was dubbed another try by Google to take on Facebook, which is currently the most popular networking site. Its launch was well-accepted by the public. So well even, that Google had to disable the sending of invites to new users (sign in was initially available through invites only) due to “insane demand“.
We haven’t found any threats within Google+, however we’ve recently encountered a website that leverages the recent demand for Google+ invites, despite the network now being open to everyone.
The site claims to offer downloadable invites. Trying to download an invite leads to a list of surveys that the user must answer in order to get the invite.
Closing the said list directs to a page in a file-sharing website, where the user is given two options: to download the invite for free by answering one of the surveys, or to download the invite by paying a certain amount.
Once the user chooses to go with the free option, a warning is displayed, telling the user that they should only enter valid information, or else they will be banned and unable to download the invite. The user will then be led to the survey that they chose from the list. Upon completing any of the surveys, which are all basically fashioned like an IQ test, the user will be asked to enter their mobile number.
At this point, it’s easy to realize that the answering of the IQ test is unrelated the process of downloading a Google+ invite, just as much as having to download a file is totally unnecessary to create a Google+ account. This scheme does not lead to the user getting a Google+ invite, only unnecessary charges to their phone bill, as the text at the bottom of the site implies that entering their mobile numbers will subscribe users to certain clubs, which will charge them specific amounts on a daily basis.
The abovementioned scam pages are already blocked through the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network.
We already know how Facebook ended up fitting right into cybercriminals’ plans with the numerous attacks targeting the social network. Considering this recent development, it’s possible that Google+ will share the same fate with Facebook. Let’s just hope Google and the Google+ users are ready to take on the attacks.
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