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Google+ a security risk? I’m there!

Jul 25, 20112 mins
Data and Information Security

I just joined the Google+ bandwagon. Now I’m waiting for the spam to arrive.

If you care to connect with me on Google+, here’s my profile.

I’ll admit to being a skeptic. It’s already enough work keeping up with my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. And, between Facebook and Twitter, there’s no shortage of spam I have to stare at all day. LinkedIn hasn’t been a spam issue for me yet, but I know it’s only a matter of time.

Now, I have yet to figure out all this business of creating circles and hangouts or being invited, though at first glance I like the concept of dividing people into buckets (friends, family, etc.).

As for the security of it all, I have no special expectations of something better, especially after reading this report from my NetworkWorld colleague Paul McNamara:

If you’re among the millions of early dabblers on Google+, you have probably picked up on an undercurrent of concern there that once the new social network is opened to commercial interests – they’re officially taboo, so far — spammers are sure to rush the doors, too.

Well, an Australian programmer, Robert Norris Hills, says he has demonstrated the ease with which spammers may operate in Google+ by fashioning a bot capable of “circling” some 2,500 Google+ accounts per hour, and a three-minute YouTube video showing the thing in action.

Is this the start of a Google+ “spamageddon,” as the post suggests?


But I’m going in anyway.

As far as I’m concerned, there will never be a social networking platform that’s completely free of risk. The same problems we’ve seen on the other sites will be problems on Google+ — fake profiles from bad guys hoping to use you to their advantage, hacked accounts, etc.

But the business value is worth the risk for me. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have been a big source of new CSO readers, and I expect Google+ to help us further.

As long as I don’t decide to actually trust these sites, I figure I’ll be OK.

I hope.

–Bill Brenner

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