Bot-wielding hackers crash eBay holiday giveaway
eBay cares not
eBay users are howling in protest after discovering hackers are using automated scripts to win hundreds of steeply discounted auctions as part of a holiday season contest designed to draw visitors to the site.
Auctions for pricey items including a Green Life electric scooter and an Oscar de la Renta evening gown, which had been marked down to just $1, were scooped up even as the counter for their pages registered 0000 visitors. The Grinch stealing this year's Christmas booty were bot-armed hackers who were able to sniff out the promo pages before they went live to the public.
"This should have been advertised as a programming contest because those are the only people who can win," one eBay user complained to MSNBC's Red Tape Chronicles, which reported the story. "eBay can stop this if they want to by requiring a verification screen or something, they just don't care."
Perhaps. But that would require eBay to have an established set of contest rules, which it apparently doesn't.
An eBay spokesman first told MSNBC's Bob Sullivan the rules didn't prohibit the use of scripts to find items included in the "Holiday Doorbusters" promotion. Later, he changed that to say they might bar automated tools. Finally, the company issued a mealy-fingered email that said only that employees were "doing everything in our power to ensure that all eBay users have an equal opportunity to search for and win these hot holiday items."
So our advice to eBayers intent on winning this year is to hire a freelance programmer to scoop up the hot items before someone else gets there first. It may not be the most ethical thing you've ever done, but the deals are amazing. ®
@ Why do some people think they are entitled to everything they can lay their grubby hands on?
.......because they can.
If you place a cookie on a table with a 3 year old and say only take it if you NEED it and leave the room you will be mildy disappointed and minus a cookie.
Look at tickets for concerts.... as soon as they are on sale some scumbag with eighteen credit cards buys 2 tickets with each and sells the ones he's not using (that would be all eighteen coz he's a REAL scumbag) and after 40 others like him get the same idea theres 2 people who turn up to the gig coz they paid a small fortune for them on ebay.
The message is always clear - take what you want and if someone else wants it sell it to them at a massive markup.
I have seen this scripts around the net. I was surprised someone took the time to use them
"The Grinch stealing this year's Christmas booty were bot-armed hackers who were able to sniff out the promo pages before they went live to the public."
THAT is the scandal. The pages had no views, no because no one HAD looked for them but because they were bought before anyone COULD look for them.
Pay attention, dude.