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Experts warn over Google Glass scams

16 Mar 2013
Sergey Brin Google Glass

Security researchers are warning users and administrators to be vigilant following the discovery of scam capitalising on interest in the Google Glass platform.

According to Sophos, the attacks mimic a Google site advertising the Glass hardware and seek to trick users into paying for what they believe to be a pre-order on the Glass units.

Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley said that the company spotted the operation by coincidence after a posting a blog article on privacy concerns over the Google platform. While going through the comments, the company noticed an unusual piece of spam posted in Chinese.

Following the message lead researchers to the fake site which claimed to be selling the as of yet unreleased Glass hardware.

"We chose not to approve the comment, but when we visited the link we were taken to a professional-looking website which appeared to be attempting to extol the virtues of Google's internet-enabled headgear," Cluley explained.

The Sophos researcher noted that in addition to mimicking a Google-owned Glass site, the page attempts to collect a $500 payment via PayPal for what it claims to be 'client' hardware for the Google Glass platform.

The only official Glass hardware, made by Google, is currently being offered to developers and beta testers at a cost of $1,500. Reports have indicated that the company is aiming to release the units to the general public by the end of the year.

Playing on public interest in news items and popular new products has become a favourite tactic for malware writers and online scammers who will often set up fake sites in hopes of luring in unsuspecting users. Cluley said that the trend is only going to increase as the buzz around Google Glass gets louder.

"As the hype around Google Glass continues to grow, it's inevitable that more and more scammers will emerge trying to make a quick 500 bucks from unwary internet users," he wrote.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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