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Google Plus to shut down even earlier after massive security breach exposes 52.5 million users

Sutrishna Ghosh
11th Dec 2018
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Following this security breach, the American tech company has announced plans to accelerate the shutdown of all Google Plus APIs within the next 90 days.

Online search giant Google has revealed plans to expedite the shutdown of its Google+ platform earlier than intended. Although plans of a closure have been in motion for some time now – they had announced they would be sunsetting the consumer version Google Plus and its APIs in October 2019 – but now the Alphabet Inc-owned company is fast-forwarding the process to shut it down by April 2019.

Google Plus

Originally, Google had planned to close down the consumer version of Google Plus in August 2019. But owing to the discovery of the latest security breach, the company is accelerating the procedure. While this is the second time a data breach has been reported this year, the latest software bug is said to have compromised the private information of almost 52.5 million Google+ users.

“We discovered this bug as part of our standard and ongoing testing procedures and fixed it within a week of it being introduced,” Google announced via a blog post on Monday.

The company further assured that “no third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the app developers that inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way.”

With protection of user-data at the top of their concerns, the company announced that it will overseeing the shut-down in the “next 90 days”.

“With the discovery of this new bug, we have decided to expedite the shut-down of all Google+ APIs; this will occur within the next 90 days,” the post read, “While we recognise there are implications for developers, we want to ensure the protection of our users.”

Shedding light on this breach, Google also shared detailed information about their investigation. On finding out that the Google Plus API was not operating as intended, the company insists, that they fixed the bug promptly and even launched an investigation to determine the impact of the software flaw.

While apps were able to access certain profile data set to not public, Google asserts “the bug did not give developers access to information such as financial data, national identification numbers, passwords, or similar data typically used for fraud or identity theft”.

Clearly, this would come as a bad news to app developers who use data from Google Plus to personalise their service. However, “expect to hear more from us on this topic in the coming days,” asserts Google.


 

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