Kid hacker renames school on Google My Business page as ‘strip club’

Although we’ve been through the pandemic for atypical months, the end of the school year in New Zealand is coming and thousands of students seem to be in good spirits about it. This weekend, the Google My Business profile of Marlborough Women’s College in Blenheim, New Zealand, changed to “Club de Striptease Marlborough”.

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Over the weekend the name was changed, although those responsible for the name change did not settle for that and began adding ironic comments on the use of antibacterial gel and coronavirus protection masks: “Here there is never any hand sanitizer available, we prefer not to be sure,” the comment posted on Google mentions.

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“Masks are not school uniforms. Any mask will be confiscated and must be collected on the Friday after school :)”, mentions another of the comments.

School schedules were also modified, mentioning that the facilities were closed every day except Fridays when it is open 24 hours a day. Marlborough Women’s College principal Mary-Jeanne Lynch said the school was aware of the modifications and was already resolving the issues.

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Google users immediately began to suggest that a hacker, student or someone related in some way to this school have decided to play a joke on the school managers.

In this regard, cybersecurity experts point out that this is not necessarily the work of a hacker, as any user with a Google account can make changes to a My Business profile by simply using the “suggest an edit” feature. Users should only click on a list and click on that feature, although it does not work for any website.

Google typically simply approves the changes, but account managers should receive an email notification if any of their My Business profile details are edited. In the case of this school, there may not be an account manager or it could be a modification that was not properly verified by those responsible.

Companies could avoid unwarranted edits by claiming from Google and making sure the details are up to date, so that they are notified of any changes immediately.