Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Could Someone Bring Down e-Commerce?

Is it possible to prevent technology from running out of control?

Is it already out of control?

It may be that we won't know the answers to those questions before it is too late.

Case in point:

Do a google search for "Accept PP/CreditCard ,One World One Price", in quotes.

This will bring up 100,000s into the millions of results.

Every single result is another page or profile of an extremely dubious (to give the benefit of the doubt) selling site. The sites in question contain thousands of pages of copyrighted material listed for sale without the knowledge of the copyright owners, complete with famous logos, icons and trade names of numerous familiar and reassuring corporations and e-commerce entities. The sites include a mind-boggling array of domain names and sub-domains, some of them, at least, indicating (or appearing) that they utilize a well-known new generation domain name server that is known for secure hosting features. Each individual site contains a number of confidence building features, right down to a phony online chat window that says something like "Mandy Johnson is standing by to answer your questions".

The activities of this site have come to the forefront because of apparent unauthorized use of thousands of pages of material from one high profile e-commerce site in particular, although there could be any number of other transgressions.

The concerning part about this is the apparent automated duplication of the site over massive numbers of domains and sub-domains. It is presumed that, if the site is indeed illegitimate, it will eventually be closed one way or another.

But the question must be asked, what if someone, with access to near-free labour, decided to pull a scam in this same spirit ~ but actually did a better job of it? What if they built it to be really convincing and created a thousand or a million clones simultaneously?

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