Okay, everyone uses Google Maps. It is because we do not want to get lost trying to get to our destinations. However, what if there is a particular destination in which you would like to visit? Say, a place for dining out with your significant other or that really hot spot for happy hours after work. The first thing, everyone does, is recon and research the location, usually on an on-line map such as Google Maps. Once you have found the name and location of your desired destination, you would want to discover what it has to offer, such as what type of food and drink does it serve, or what are the hours of operation? Therefore, you then click on an on-line map such as Google Maps for the venue’s phone and website address to further your research on the desired destination.
Unfortunately, this is where everything goes wrong, because some of the business listings on Google Maps have always been based on trusted user submitted data and unfortunately, the data submitted has always been susceptible and vulnerable to abuse by malicious actors. Malicious actors can access Google Maps and by-pass Google’s security protocols to alter data that is found in the business listings within the Google Map application. Which I find is quite scary! The malicious actors can thereby spoof websites and alternate out the business phone number. As well, they are able to falsify and write fake reviews that are posted within Google Map site destinations. The malicious acts further the effects of social engineering and traffic hijacking. The ability to do so has been appealing to hacktivists and the businesses competitors.
The scheme unfairly targets mostly small businesses by threatening their reputation in business and by hurting their economic return and profits within the economy. Google is much aware of the fraudulent based practice of falsifying destinations on their Google Map application. Therefore, Google has made every attempt and effort to verify the identities of business owners and their editors on their Google Map site. However, the verification of the data is still susceptible to malicious intent by professionally circumventing the system on the behalf of malicious actors.