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Referral Remix

Some time back, I was just reminded, Notebook Forums ran a contest. The contest was meant to bring in new members, and revolved around the forum's referral system. What you needed to do to get an entry was for someone to register, mark you down as the referral, and then they had to post some meaningful posts. For the most part the contest went over well. However, a less than honorable member created a very strange situation. He created an unwitting invasion.

His medium was MySpace. He had put the referral registration link on his page. However, he didn't notate it as the referral registration as it was. Instead he had set it up as a scam. He had disguised the link as some sort of hit tracker that you had to register to get, which resulted in tons of people registering and posting, trying to find. All at once, the forums were filled with a bunch of people looking for this tracker, pages and pages of threads. In the end, after hours of invasion, a mass banning had to be done to stop it all, and a large amount of work to remove the surge of threads. The exact number escapes me, because as I recall his account had to be deleted entirely to stop it, but there was over 200 people that had registered. A flood, an invasion, and a completely unexpected situation through an attack of social engineering, resulting in hundreds of innocent casualties that didn't even want to be there in the first place.

Date posted: 20 February, 2009
Tags: advertisement anecdote internet
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