Just yesterday, we posted about Bryan Seely, a man willing to speak about the copious manipulation of Google Maps that's seriously affecting small businesses. Seely had since spoken about a more dire vulnerability in Google Maps, which allowed him to tap calls to the FBI and Secret Service. Turns out, the FBI and Secret Service get some quite mundane calls.
Seely had hinted in the previous piece about a larger threat that Google Maps vulnerabilities posed, but didn't want to go public with it until the appropriate people were spoken to. That's now happened, and it involved him walking into a secret service office and literally showing them the results of an intercepted call between them and a Washington D.C. police officer, pertaining to an active investigation.
Valleywag reports that Seely was then patted down, read his Miranda rights, and interrogated — but in the end, the agent on the case called him a "hero" for bringing this to their attention.
How did he do it?
Building on the same technique we mentioned before, which plays on peoples' complete trust of Google Maps, Seely set up fake listings that led to phone numbers controlled by him. Calls to those numbers would redirect to the proper offices, surveilled by Seely's proxy link in the chain. By manipulating his ranking, he was able to get his fake numbers up to the 2nd ranked listing on Google, and intercept calls from anyone who clicked on that 2nd link.
The below are two calls intercepted by Seely, and they kind of put a damper on the excitement of tapping the tappers.
After exposing the threat and being asked to take down the fake listings, Seely complied. But it doesn't look like anything will save the FBI from having to field calls from people concerned about phishing scams.
"This is what I do when I'm bored," said Seely. "I just uncovered a national security issue while I was at McDonald's. My internet at the house just got installed [last Saturday] so all these hacks and everything I figured out, was on wifi at McDonald's while my 5-year-old was playing with other little kids."