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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.