Scammers (Hackers? Vladuz?) Strike Again & Bypass eBay Inc. Security Measures
At 11:28 PM EST, we captured this screenshot (click image to magnify if needed): http://firemeg.com/images/zd.htm2.jpg
Many of the listings contained a redirect to an off-eBay pharming site that looked to be an eBay login page. So, in essence, a buyer would click on the listing title and immediately be asked to sign in. Doing so would immediately send an email to a scammer who would then have the customer's user ID and password....a common scam made possible by eBay's unwillingness to close this hole in security. eBay officials acted quickly, and the listings were removed within half an hour.
However, at 12:05 AM EST, only 37 minutes later, there were 30 more fraudulent listings posted to eBay Motors for the same search term ("test listing"). Screenshot here: http://firemeg.com/dontouch/dontouchpics2/testlisting2.gif
Notice that the listings were sorted by "Newly Listed" and that the items had been on the site for only five minutes at the time of the screenshot. Herein lies the problem...eBay has been telling sellers for months that listings (especially for high ticket items) will be subject to security checks prior to being indexed (ie. prior to showing in searches). eBay management will not disclose what exactly they mean by "security checks," but there has been quite an uproar over slow indexing of items on the site. Many sellers are fuming that they are paying for 7 days of exposure, yet are getting less - sometimes the listings are not showing at all after 7 days. But...the obvious scam listings in the last screenshot were all indexed immediately! Leading those who saw this to wonder, is this a result of a hacker that it is possible, or has eBay been lying to us about security measures to cover up their slow servers and indexing problems?
eBay states that in order to have a listing show up immediately at the time you want it to, sellers need to schedule their listings prior to the time they want them to appear on the site (it costs and extra 10 cents to do this). Scheduling listings, according to eBay, does not exempt listings from the security checks. So even if the scammers in the screenshot scheduled their listings, they should have been removed by T&S before they ever made it into the searches. So there are a couple of reasons how the immediate indexing could have occured.
1) eBay is lying and does not really implement security checks, and items are just slow to index due to ebay's software and servers.
2) eBay has been hacked and something is allowing these scammers to bypass security checks.
3) scammers are scheduling their listings and T&S is simply impotent and incompetent.
Whatever the reason, the fact is that scam listings are on the increase and eBay management is doing all they can to cover up the hackings and hijackings that have swept the site in the past week. (more on this to be posted tomorrow). Third party statistics sites are showing spikes in listing numbers whenever the masses of scam listings hit the site. It will be interesting to see if eBay execs subtract all of the fake listings in their next quarterly report, or whether they include the listings in the totals. Over the past week, there have been days when there are 10,000+ related scam listings in just one day, and the highest we've seen from one seller is 3,500+ in one day. And that doesn't take into account all of the other hijacked accounts and scam listings that don't appear to be related to the recent attacks that are being attributed to Romanian hacker Vladuz.