Monday, 22 October, 2018

Google to finally shut down Google Plus as massive security breach revealed

Google Plus Google+ Shutting Down After Bug Leaks Info of 500k Accounts
Beatrice Douglas | 11 October, 2018, 22:59

In a statement to BleepingComputer, a Google Spokesperson said that their Privacy & Data Protection Office felt it was not necessary to disclose as it did not meet the threshold that would warrant it.

Google is shutting down much of its social network, Google+, after user data was left exposed.

The breach was through a loophole in an API, which potentially gave third-party apps access to profile fields that were shared with the user but not marked as public.

Google said it discovered and immediately patched the API bug in March 2018.

Chris Griffith at The Australian points out that "the discovery of the breach occurred after the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme began in late February" meaning that the discovery and what the WSJ claims is a coverup, occurred after the program was put in place. They were able to determine that the bug was not misused during the two weeks that they had log data. The company has said that following an internal investigation in the issue, it has found that there was a bug in the software of Google+ which had exposed user data to outside developers during 2015-March 2018 time period.

For Google, a data privacy reckoning may finally come as a result of a service that it admits nearly no one uses much anymore.


The US internet giant said that 90% of Google+ user sessions lasted only five seconds long or less. Up to 438 applications on Google Plus had access to this API, though Google said it has no evidence any developers were aware of the vulnerability.

According to the Journal, Google's legal and policy team warned senior executives at the company that disclosing the security flaw could lead to "immediate regulatory interest".

The data breach does not include any other data a user may have posted or connected to Google+ or any other service.

Google's excuse is that it found no evidence of any of the data being misused, however, it also has no way of being sure of that.

Google has announced that it's kicking its floundering social media platform Google+ to the curb, some seven years after it was first introduced. "Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data". "When an app prompts you for access to your Google account data, we always require that you see what data it has asked for, and you must grant it explicit permission", he said.

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