Tuesday, February 27, 2007

J.K. Rowling Suing Ebay over Pirated Harry Potter Books

The Times Online
Jack Malvern

In fiction his enemies are evil wizards and magical beasts, but Harry Potter’s latest adversary is a real corporation with a turnover of more than £2 billion.

J. K. Rowling, Harry’s creator, is suing the online auction hosting service eBay after unscrupulous sellers used the Indian version of the website to sell unauthorised versions of her books.

Rowling is not the first person to sue the website for breach of copyright, but she has won a unique victory by obtaining an injunction that prohibits eBay from listing illegal copies of her work. The court order is a setback for eBay because it is the first time the company has been obliged to police its sellers’ auctions for copyrighted material.

Ebay, which is also fighting similar complaints by Tiffany in New York and Christian Dior Couture in Paris, denies that it is responsible for the auctions its users conduct on its website, and claims that it is impractical for it to vet every sale.

Continue Here

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ebay Stamp Forgery Scam

Mike Brunker

Projects Team editor

It may be the stickiest scam on the Internet — a nine-year saga of deceit that has seen thousands of altered postage stamps sold to unwitting collectors on eBay and other Internet auction sites. More striking than its longevity, though, is that the mastermind has never been charged with a crime, even though his identity apparently is known to eBay security, law enforcement officials and some of the nation’s leading stamp experts.

The man believed to be behind the scheme is a longtime stamp dealer living in upstate New York. He has been investigated by law enforcement, suspended by eBay and exposed in Internet forums devoted to stamp collecting. Yet the massive operation continues to churn out philatelic fakes, burning collectors and, some say, undermining the very foundations of the hobby.

Complete Story Here

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mysterious 'Vladuz' Once AGAIN Hacks eBay

As reported by Dan Goodin in the U.K Register 2/23/07

A hacker has once again managed to pilfer eBay credentials that allow him to masquerade as an official company representative even as he taunts eBay officials on the company's message boards. It's at least the second time the person going by the name Vladuz has pulled off the prank, which is causing many users to question the adequacy of eBay security.

The hacker, said to be living in Romania, claims to have acquired the ability to penetrate the company's perimeter at will. Combined with a rash of hacked accounts, the assertion has created a small but vocal group of users who believe eBay is covering up a massive back door in its defenses.

"Ugh, eBay is so rude *haha*" the intruder said in one post, left late on Thursday, California time.

eBay officials strenuously deny there is any such back door. They admit Vladuz was able to pilfer a limited number of credentials needed to pose as a customer service representative, but insist the servers that administer those functions are balkanized from databases where sensitive information such as customer records are kept.

More here

Is "Ebay security" an oxymoron?....

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Vendor Security Lapse Has eBay Sellers Fuming

As posted by Ira Steiner on the Auctionbytes Blog February 17, 2007.

A list of eBay sellers containing names, addresses, and user names and passwords was discovered online this week. On Tuesday, eBay users began buzzing about the list in a thread entitled, "Is eBay like the Titanic" on the eBay Trust & Safety board, with someone including a link to the list.

eBay removed the link, according to eBay spokesperson Hani Durzy. "The link was taken down for obvious reasons. The boards are not to be used to promote illegal activities," he said. But the remaining posts made it clear users remained concerned and angry.

Durzy told AuctionBytes on Friday afternoon that the data was several years old. eBay believed the data was the result of users giving out their passwords to scammers through phishing emails, and had no reason to believe the rumor that the information came from a third-party developer.

But several hours later, an eBay member sent AuctionBytes an active link to a list of customer names on Prosperpoint, a developer that provides eBay sellers with auction-management services.

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Police Break up European Ebay Gang

An Oceans 11-style crime syndicate that carried out more than 200 highly planned jewellery raids across Europe has been smashed by police.

Forces in seven European countries have broken up the network which channeled more than £25m from jewel heists into drugs and real estate.

The money came from highly choreographed raids on jewellers, mainly in northern Italy, with the goods fenced on eBay and through pawn shops, Europol said. Police made 35 arrests after swooping on the homes of suspects in Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Spain, France and Germany.

Complete story

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Convicted Ebay Scammer Loses Appeal

By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

What: eBay scammer was convicted of interstate robbery and acquitted of a gun charge, but he received a higher sentence from a judge based on the gun charge anyway. He lost his appeal of the higher sentence earlier this month.

When: U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on February 7.

Outcome: Sentence of more than 16 years in prison based on a gun charge is upheld.

What happened, according to court documents: Dewan Anthony Horne had invented a scam that was both cunning and criminal. He would advertise vintage "muscle cars" for sale on eBay and offer a good price. Once Horne struck up a conversation with a prospective buyer, he'd suggest coming to Indianapolis and paying for the car in cash or the equivalent.

The hitch: the cars for sale didn't exist. When the would-be purchaser showed up at a garage on the east side of Indianapolis, Horne and at least one gun-toting accomplice would attempt to rob the eBay buyer of the cash and anything else of value.

Horne didn't seem very good at his line of work. Beyond the detail of being nabbed by the police, court documents indicate that he managed to complete only one robbery. ......

Complete Article Here

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hacked Ebay Accounts and Conspiracy Theorys

Roswell, the Kennedys and a hacker named Vladuz

The Register
By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
Published Tuesday 20th February 2007 22:38 GMT

Eagle-eyed conspiracy buffs have pounced on a recent rash of compromised eBay user accounts as proof of a mile-wide hole in the auctioneer's front lines, giving new life to a theory that could one day rival the intrigue surrounding Roswell UFO crashing and Kennedy assassinations.

Details remained sketchy, and of course, eBay managers have assembled the requisite wall of plausible deniability, but here's what we've pieced together so far: Over the past few days, several dozen eBay auctions - many selling pricey items such as Cartier Tank watches - have been hijacked by crooks who append legitimate auctions with notes suggesting would-be buyers contact a Gmail account for a special, "buy-it-now" discount.

An eBay spokesman says all indications suggest that the accounts were compromised through plain-vanilla phishing techniques, in which unwitting users fall prey to spoofed emails and give passwords to their attackers. End of story, right?

Not quite. While the more timid among us would be tempted to agree with the company's party line, a chorus of eBay critics say there is something much more nefarious going on. They argue the episode is the latest proof of the existence of back door that has been built into the company's corporate network, allowing an attacker or a cadre of attackers to siphon login credentials and other confidential information from the site's users.

Read complete article here

Monday, February 12, 2007

Savvy Mom Snares Ebay Thief

By Dave Lieber
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Kim Vaughan's nickname on eBay, America's largest Internet auction Web site, is Momof4kidsathome.

It should be Detective Columbo.

Dissatisfied with the pace of Colleyville police in tracking down thieves who burglarized her family car and two other vehicles in her subdivision, she used the Internet to locate the stolen items.

The Bedford teenager who thought he could anonymously place them on eBay was in for a surprise. Within days, Vaughan knew his name and address. She even talked to him on the phone.

For her work, her neighbors praise her. An eBay spokeswoman calls what she did "consumer action at its best."

But in serving as her own watchdog, she put herself at risk and frustrated police.

The case of the amateur detective began 24 days ago when Vaughan's 4-year-old son, playing with her car keys, accidentally pushed a button that left her SUV unlocked for the night.
The next morning she noticed that her $389 GPS device was missing. She called the guard at the subdivision's front gate to learn whether any car burglaries had been reported overnight. None had, but within hours Vaughan learned of other victims.

A neighbor who also left a vehicle unlocked reported a missing iPod. Other neighbors, former Colleyville Mayor Donna Arp and her husband, Bruce Lotter, told her that a BlackBerry and camera were missing from Lotter's car.

On a hunch, Vaughan visited eBay.com. Much to her surprise, a GPS device similar to hers popped up for sale by someone in adjacent Bedford.

Read Complete Story Here

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

U.K. Ebay Seller Banned for Life Over Fixed Auctions

ONE of Britain’s top eBay traders has been banned from the auction site for life after a Sunday Times investigation found that an account in the name of his ex-wife had allegedly been used to bid up the price of goods that he was selling.

Computer records show that Eftis Paraskevaides, an antiquities dealer from Cambridgeshire, took bids from his former wife’s eBay account on at least 400 items. The link between seller and bidder had been hidden from customers and eBay officials because the transactions were made in her maiden name.

Read complete story here