Feeds

Feds arrest man who juiced Google's 'just be evil' search

Comeuppance for foul-mouthed bully

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Federal authorities on Monday arrested a website operator accused of selling counterfeit eyeglasses who subjected customers to foul-mouthed tirades when they complained about the quality of the goods.

“GO FUCK YOURSELF COCKSUCKER ... I pee on your negative [comments]” Vitaly Borker, 34, of Brooklyn, New York, allegedly wrote in an October 27 email to one customer. He went on to claim he'd direct an assistant to “crush” the man's glasses and then “take the pieces of what is left of his glasses and use the label he sent to ship the powder back to him.”

Borker's brusque email-side manner was documented in late November by The New York Times, which claimed that the vast number of consumer complaints caused his DecorMyEyes.com website to boost sales thanks to the resulting boost in its Google ranking. In other words, the nastier he got, the more prominent his site became.

“I’ve exploited this opportunity because it works,” Borker was quoted as telling The NYT. “No matter where they post their negative comments, it helps my return on investment. So I decided, why not use that negativity to my advantage?”

Authorities who arrested Borker and searched his home allegedly found “several firearms and ammunition,” according to prosecutors. He has been charged with one count each of cyberstalking, making interstate threats, mail fraud and wire fraud. He is expected to be arraigned soon.

Google responded to the episode by announcing changes to its search algorithm that, in effect stops rewarding people for being evil. Google didn't disclose much about the fix other than to say engineers “developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience."

A PDF of the criminal complaint charging Borker is here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.