Important: A Fraudulent Link in Google Maps
A tricky link exploit takes roots in Google Maps. The worst thing is that you won`t even see it, because it looks like a genuine Google Maps links.
This link redirects you to a trivial Russian website containing English-language information about diet pills — with a fugacious stop in Google Maps. The hacker embraces the moment and uses this relatively unknown drawback in the Google Maps app for his/her own purpose. The genuine site was a source for distributing his/her panacea that actually was a mere machination.
The Steps to Follow
The easiest way not to fall into a trap is to avoid such suspicious links, just as any other mistrustful resources. Think twice before clicking on any ominous links that originate from well-known contacts and give rise to doubt.
If you have a good antivirus on your device, be it a phone or a computer, it will not allow to load a suspicious page. Moreover, most of web browsers block any deleterious materials. But a Russian charlatan selling fake drugs and a site with the purpose to download a keylogger onto your device are two big differences.
But Google was aware of this problem since September 2017 and did nothing to solve it up to this day. Maybe, the company considers it as unimportant, because gaining the benefit from the exploit requires goo.gl, and it seems to stop working since April, 13. But the registered users of Google still have ability to create such links, which will function up to March 30, 2019.
The Working Principle of the Exploit
Using a goo.gl link after an "https://maps.app" URL, a cybercriminal can easily redirect every user to any site he/she wants. This exploit has two main tricks: the first one is that a user will consider this link as genuine one, because maps.app is a real Google URL and the second one is that web browsers may not prevent users from visiting potentially malicious sites, since they will account them as the essential part of Google Maps.
This exploit is really easy-to use. So, to deceive users is like shooting fish in a barrel.
In this case, alertness is the best protection against this malicious campaign. Install a good antivirus program, avoid suspicious links, and there will be nothing to worry about. At worst, it will prove that shutting down goo.gl wasn`t a bad idea.