Podcast hijacked by 'extortionist'

Give us the dosh or the RSS feed dies

hands waving dollar bills in the air

Podcaster Erik Marcus has become the latest target of an age-old crime. His RSS feed has been redirected by a "cyber-squatter" who's demanding payment as a condition for releasing the hijacked feed.

Marcus who runs the Vegan.com site and produced the Erik's Diner podcasts is seeking legal redress for this new form of extortion, eWeek reports. The issue came to light after Marcus noticed that downloads of his podcast has suddenly slipped after steadily building up an audience of 1,500. Marcus discovered that Yahoo! has an RSS listing for the podcast on its beta site, podcasts.yahoo.com, pointed to podkeyword.com instead of vegan.com. Yahoo! has thus far failed to correct the listing and the problem was compounded after Apple's iTunes service also linked the Podkeyword URL with Erik's Diner podcasts.

Frustrated in dealing with Yahoo! and Apple, Marcus contacted podkeyword to request a workaround at its end. Podkeyword responded it would only make listing changes if Marcus made an "unspecified payment or agreed permanently to its terms", eWeek reports.

A blog called Northwest Noise has also experience podcast hijacking problems, again linked to Yahoo's podcast directory, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

A good explanation of RSS hijacking, and possible countermeasures, can be found here. ®

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