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Google+ encounters its first spam

Truly a social network then
Mon Jul 04 2011, 11:58

GOOGLE'S SOCIAL NETWORK Google+ has encountered its first spam within days of its launch.

The spam works by coding a link to the Canada Family Pharmacy web site into a Google+ shared post. The "view or comment on [so-and-so's] post" link brings users to the pharmacy web site instead of Google+.

The spam was spotted by security firm Sophos, which said that the spammers are likely attempting to capitalise on the mad rush of people wanting to sign up to Google+, some of whom will click on anything that might allow them to sign up.

If a web site link can be hidden in a Google+ shared post like this, then it makes us wonder if links to malicious web sites harbouring malware will be too. Facebook and Twitter have their fair share of this, so it's probably only a matter of time before it finds its way onto Google+.

The INQUIRER, which has been playing around with Google+ since its launch late last week, has not encountered any of this spam yet. It's early days yet for the service, though, and there simply aren't enough people on it at the moment to lead to the level of spam found on Facebook, but that could change in the near future.

In some ways the appearance of spam on Google+ is almost like an initiation, a nod from spammers that it can truly be considered a proper social network. We can likely expect a lot more of it over time as Google+ gains a following.

One thing that might help Google's social network deal with spam is the technology it uses in Gmail, which does a very good job of filtering out unwanted messages. It might need some considerable adapatation to work with Google+, but this technology could give it another 'plus' over Facebook, which is littered with spam, not counting all those game and app invites. µ


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