Google+ a magnet for malware, scams

Malware, scams and over-sharing of personal information unknowingly are some of the top security and privacy threats associated with Google+, according to security experts.

A month into its launch, Google+ has attracted around 20 million users who sign up via "invites" from members. This "referral" scheme has given cybercriminals an opportunity to push survey scams, Myla Pilao, director of core technology marketing from Trend Labs, highlighted in an e-mail interview.

Cybercriminals, she explained, have capitalized on the "perceived scarcity of the accounts" to create fake Web sites to lure unsuspecting victims interested in joining the social network. According to her, such sites claim to offer downloadable invites after a user completes a series of surveys. When users try to dismiss the list of surveys, they are directed to a file-sharing Web site where the user is given two options--to download an invitation for free by answering one of the surveys or pay a fee to obtain the invite, she noted.

Kaspersky Labs says it has discovered Trojans which originated in fake invites to Google+, Trend Micro says gender plays a role in social engineering attacks on Google+ users, and Sophos warns that Google+ features may reveal ones online status.

For more on this story, read Malware, scams top Google+ security threats on ZDNet Asia.