Spear Phishers Go Casting in Google Wave

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print


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Google's new communication and collaboration platform -- which is limited to just 100,000 beta users -- is generating so much interest that hackers and spear phishers are setting up rogue sites that lure users with the promise of access credentials.

Google is making waves with Wave, its new collaboration platform that enables users to share a common browser-based workspace. It’s not generally available; Google yesterday opened the platform up to 100,000 beta testers and developers to get feedback on performance and functionality. And that scarcity of availability is precisely what spear phishers wanted.

Websense issued an alert that spear phishers and hackers are using the intense interest in Google Wave to attract developers and users to malicious and compromised Web sites. These sites do not provide access to Wave, but rather to rogue antivirus applications and malware.

"There's a lot of hype about the launch of Google Wave, not only because of the 'new' things it offers but also because Google invited only 100,000 lucky users to test the service. With that said, it's no surprise that users are enticed to this new application. Unfortunately, it's also no surprise that the bad guys are using this hype to manipulate search results," Websense wrote in its alert.

Google purposely limited the number of users to 100,000 to control the beta test group. New members are being admitted, but you must request an invitation into the community. The only legitimate way of getting in is through Google’s portal; not third-party sites.

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Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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