Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Google+ shutdown accelerated after bug affecting 52.5m users found

Google+ to shut down early after leak exposes 52m users Google+ to shut down early after new bug bites 52.2 million users
Wayne Curry | 11 December, 2018, 02:16

Regardless, Google notified impacted users and enterprise customers.

Google claims the flaw was only active for six days and that developers with access to the specific API were not aware of the exposed data or have done nothing with it.

Google admitted users' data had been exposed for six days following a software update in November.

With this new API bug, the second one since October, the company made a decision to rush the retirement of the platform to April 2019, while all Google+ APIs will shut down in the next 90 days.

Whoever's doing that might want to do it fast - there's no telling when the next security bug will come along and force Google to accelerate the shutdown even more. Google said at the time that it would shut down the Google+ social networking service to consumers because of the "significant challenges" it faced in meeting users' privacy expectations. "We discovered this bug as part of our standard and ongoing testing procedures and fixed it within a week of it being introduced".

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However, Google said in a blog post that it found no evidence that any other apps had accessed the data, such as name, email, gender and age, using the latest bug.

The latest Google+ security vulnerability affects the People API that enables apps to view public profile information from consenting users.

In October, the company said it would shut down the consumer version Google+ in August 2019 because it would be too challenging to maintain the unpopular service. It now plans to shut down Google Plus by April 2019 and access to its application programming interfaces (APIs) in the next 90 days.

Google revealed today a second bug in the Google+ API that could have been abused to steal the private data of almost 52.5 million users.

While the API bug did potentially impact tens of millions of users, Google asserts that it has found no evidence of the exploit being acted upon or the data being misused. "We continue to invest in our privacy programs to refine internal privacy review processes, create powerful data controls, and engage with users, researchers, and policymakers to get their feedback and improve our programs".

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