Stefan Magdalinski from Mocality is reporting in their blog the results of a sting operation they conducted.
Mocality built a database of Kenya businesses and their phone numbers. In September Google Kenya began offering a similar service named GKBO.
Mocality's server was experiencing some atypical usage from one IP. Someone seemed to be manually harvesting on a large scale data from the database at Mocality. They set up a sting. For ten percent of the requests from that IP only, Mocality provided phone numbers to their own call center rather than the real number for the corresponding business. Then Mocality waited for a response.
Mocality has reported some interesting results. They got calls from people claiming both to be from Google Kenya GKBO and to be working in collaboration with Mocality. They were trying to sell Google GKBO services. These calls seem to be scripted and involve multiple callers. The sales people seem to be originating from both Kenya and India.
They subsequently found similar activity from a second IP that was registered to Google.
The blog provides details of their forensic analysis and their sting. It also has links to audio recordings and transcripts from some of the calls.
Was this actually Google? Mocality gives the impression it was. If they would have bought services from the salesman, they could have followed the money. Apparently they did not do this.
slashdot coverage: tech.slashdot.org/story/12/01/ ...
Yes Google was caught and what they did is not only immoral but criminal. An investigation by police needs to be conducted, a self investigation by google in this case is NOT enough.