15 January 2014 - 2:05pm | posted by | 0 comments

Google may have been compromised by an 'inside job' after third party alleged to have altered thousands of business listings

Compromised: Thousands of listings are said to be affectedCompromised: Thousands of listings are said to be affected

Google may have been compromised by an “inside job” after a third party altered settings on the tech giant’s Google+ hotel listings to divert users to an external commercial site instead of the correct business URLs, it has been claimed.

Google uses its verfied Google+ listings to inform its Google Maps and Google search services, meaning that any user clicking on links on a range of services would be re-directed to websites ‘Roomstobook.net’ and ‘Roomstobook.info’, which then referred users on to third-party booking services such as Hotelswhiz.com.

While individual users of Google+ can have some access to altering information for business of place listings, it’s thought that a problem on such a big scale could point towards the culprit being within Google itself.

Matthew Hoff of PR company Merkle told the Guardian: “My prediction is, this was an inside job with someone at Google. Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but any and all modified URLs have to be okay’ed by a Maps moderator.”

The problem was uncovered by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land who revealed the information in a blog posting.

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