Social Networks

Hanging Out with the Bad Guys?

The story of a good Google+ Hangouts plugin gone bad

Guess what the cat just brought in. Is it:
a.    a nice gold fishy fish that’s gasping for air?
b.    the solution to the global economic crisis with a fish-flavored cherry on top?
c.    a brand new Google+ Hangout trap, courtesy of the Holy Guild of Spammers?

If your answer is C, you get a big round of applause, a pat on the shoulder and a front row seat to the spam bubble-bursting tournament. Let the show begin!

First things first: a nice e-mail invitation to join Google+ Hangouts, recently dubbed as the most popular online meeting service by Lifehacker.

Not the first time you hear of buzz-worthy products or services used as baits, is it? Guess we might get to live the day when this kind of negative outcomes of a product’s popularity gets to be seen as a proof of worthiness, much like a scar that testifies to a soldier’s valiant encounter with troubles along the path to glory.

Not to get too sidetracked here, back to the spam at hand. Let’s hear it for the all mighty click that’s gonna take us to step two:

A small but bold chunk of text and, surprise – not a red, but a green button! To install or not to install the plugin that promises to do all sorts of magic things for you? (wouldn’t wanna turn down the amazing chance of “looking and sounding your best”, would you? :-))

“Get started easily” helps us cut through this budding dilemma. And that’s where we land on Shakespeare avenue (again): “What’s in an .exe?/That which we call an unknown piece of code By any other name would smell as bad”.

Enjoy this poetic moment, ‘cause your cat’s about to meow “Look out!”.

This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Sabina Datcu, BitDefender Online Threats Analyst.

All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

About the author

Ioana Jelea

Ioana Jelea has a disturbing (according to friendly reports) penchant for the dirty tricks of online socialization and for the pathologically mesmerizing news trivia. From gory, though sometimes fake, death reports to nip slips and other such blush-inducing accidents, her repertoire is an ever-expanding manifesto against any Victorian-like frame of thought that puts a strain on online creativity. She would like to keep things simple, but she never does.