Feeds

Web entrepreneur accused of massive data heist

9,000 plus consumer reports lifted, suit says

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Consumer rating service Angie's List has accused a web entrepreneur of plundering thousands of its records so he could start a rival company that offers a similar service.

In a lawsuit filed in Indiana state court, attorneys for Angie's List claim Christopher "Kit" Cody became a paying member of the site and then used scraping software to mine reports it provided on plumbers, dentists and roofers. Cody allegedly used the records for a competing site that he called Trustys.com.

An attorney for Cody disputed the allegations.

"We consider it industrial espionage," a spokeswoman for Angie's List told IndyStar.com. "He came in to use technology to basically cut and paste reports."

Angie's List boasts more than 750,000 consumers who use the site to screen companies offering services in more than 400 categories. The site, which is something of a Yelp focusing on consumer services, has been expanding rapidly in the US. Members submit reports, which are then relied upon by other members.

The suit claims Cody accessed 9,278 service-provider files from the site using a bot during multiple sessions. During a single two-hour period in early December, he harvested more than 2,450 profiles, IndyStar.com reported.

"We dispute the allegations, and we intend to defend against them vigorously," an attorney for Cody said.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for next month. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.