Spammers spewing on Google+


Cyber criminals have latched onto excitement surrounding the new Google social network, using spam to exploit users.

A host of fake Google+ invitations have been sent out, pointing recipients to the Canadian Family Pharmacy rather than the hyped Facebook rival.

"The spammers are no doubt hoping that the email will be hard to resist, as many people are eager to see what is being billed as Google's answer to Facebook," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"It's unclear just how many users will be tempted to buy drugs online, however research shows that last year alone, 36 million Americans bought drugs from online pharmacies, so this is a technique that is clearly continuing to work for spammers."

There has been plenty of intrigue around Google+, which was announced just last week. The service is not yet open to the wider public - those wanting to try out the social network need an invite.

Anything which arouses such excitement will also gain the attention of cyber criminals, as has always been the case.

"Due to the high demand of G+ invites being thrown at Google, to the point that the company actually had to cease the invitation process for the beta release of their fledgling social networking site, it is no surprise that spammers have latched onto this one as their latest target (and growing favourite?) to date," said GFI Labs researcher Jovi Umawing, in a blog post.

"Better than having malware there, if you ask me."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.