Google+ has encountered its second security vulnerability since October. The most recent issue may have leaked up 52.5 million account credentials, including information that was set to private within the platform. The social media platform has been underutilized for years and in the light of ongoing security concerns, Google has announced that it will shut down the social network ahead of schedule.
Google+ has had a rough run of things since the platform launched way back in 2011. Underdeveloped and largely unwanted, Google+ has been considered one of Googles biggest mistakes. At various points in the social networks life span it has been tied to other more popular products (gmail) and even required with others (YouTube). The result of this is that millions of Google users have information tied up with the social network that they may not even know about.
Following a vulnerability reveal in October, Google announced that it would be discontinuing Google+ in August of 2019. The initial vulnerability had left nearly 500,000 accounts exposed from 2015 all the way to March of 2018. This fact left many questioning Googles security practices as well as their lack of transparency in disclosing security breaches.
The second security vulnerability occurred in November and has only worsened Googles already tarnished track record with Google+. Google has stated 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.” Google has added that the November vulnerability did not expose passwords, financial information or ID numbers.
Because of the second vulnerability, and the general low usageof the social platform, Google has bumped up the Google+ shutdown date to April2019. Developer access to the Google+API will also end within the next 90 days. Anyone who wishes to remove themselves from the service early can alsofollow the instructions posted on the official Google Support page here.