Feeds

eBay scamming automation primed for fraud

Bots it all about, Alfie?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Fraudsters are starting to use automated bots in a bid to establish a bogus eBay reputation that will later allow them to dupe gullible punters through bogus auctions.

Once upon a time, one of the easiest ways to make an illicit buck on the net was to set up an auction for a non-existent item, pocket the money a buyer sends, and disappear. These days such a scam can only hope to reel in potential marks if the account used has a high positive-feedback rate.

As well as stealing accounts, con merchants have begun to use other techniques to obtain accounts that look pukka to the casual observer, according to security appliance firm Fortinet. By automating the process of creating an account with an ostensibly good rep, crooks can avoid the tedious business of building up a decent profile before looking to cash in with a scam auction.

The "eBay scamming automation" begins with the (probably automatic) creation of randomly named, fake user accounts. These fake users, powered by automated web spider software, search eBay for extremely low value ($0.01) "buy it now" items, such as eBook or wallpapers, and place a purchase.

As Fortinet points out, most one-cent-plus-no-delivery-cost sellers automate the whole transaction: should someone buy their eBooks, a script emails it automatically to the buyer, and leaves a standard feedback comment on the buyer's profile. The fake user then automatically responds with a standard feedback comment on the seller's profile.

So software bots talk to software bots, and scammers can build up multiple (impressive looking) fake accounts.

"Sellers are making cash without doing anything, and scammers owning the fake accounts are building positive feedback, again, while sleeping, watching porn, or chatting on IRC - and only for a fistful of bucks," as Fortinet puts it. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.