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Author Topic: Image Thieves targetting IS again?!!  (Read 24341 times)

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michealo

« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2011, 05:24 »
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don't worry.  precedent has already been set and you get to keep the money and all the RCs.   :)

And rightly so, as it's the deficiencies in their IT systems and security.


« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2011, 10:40 »
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don't worry.  precedent has already been set and you get to keep the money and all the RCs.   :)

I don't think they get to keep the money. I think iStock keeps the money. ;)

« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2011, 11:46 »
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don't worry.  precedent has already been set and you get to keep the money and all the RCs.   :)

I don't think they get to keep the money. I think iStock keeps the money. ;)

Last I read they were "thinking about" who got to keep the money. I took that to mean istock was keeping the money.  :-\

« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2011, 11:57 »
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don't worry.  precedent has already been set and you get to keep the money and all the RCs.   :)

I don't think they get to keep the money. I think iStock keeps the money. ;)

Last I read they were "thinking about" who got to keep the money. I took that to mean istock was keeping the money.  :-\

oh, so as it stands right now, contributors get to keep the RCs and double those for all the Vetta images since it was during the "double RC promo" (right?)  BUT.. the royalties have yet to be determined?  Does iStock really think that people will be happy as long as they get to keep their RCs and that the contributors dont care about the (potential) loss of the royalty they got from the fraud? 

« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2011, 12:00 »
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don't worry.  precedent has already been set and you get to keep the money and all the RCs.   :)

I don't think they get to keep the money. I think iStock keeps the money. ;)

Last I read they were "thinking about" who got to keep the money. I took that to mean istock was keeping the money.  :-\

oh, so as it stands right now, contributors get to keep the RCs and double those for all the Vetta images since it was during the "double RC promo" (right?)  BUT.. the royalties have yet to be determined?  Does iStock really think that people will be happy as long as they get to keep their RCs and that the contributors dont care about the (potential) loss of the royalty they got from the fraud? 

That's what I understand. I could be wrong, haven't been keeping up too much.

« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2011, 12:52 »
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don't worry.  precedent has already been set and you get to keep the money and all the RCs.   :)

I don't think they get to keep the money. I think iStock keeps the money. ;)

Last I read they were "thinking about" who got to keep the money. I took that to mean istock was keeping the money.  :-\

oh, so as it stands right now, contributors get to keep the RCs and double those for all the Vetta images since it was during the "double RC promo" (right?)  BUT.. the royalties have yet to be determined?  Does iStock really think that people will be happy as long as they get to keep their RCs and that the contributors dont care about the (potential) loss of the royalty they got from the fraud? 

That's what I understand. I could be wrong, haven't been keeping up too much.

That is my understanding as well. From what RogerMexico said, they get to keep the RCs, but the money was "another story", if I am remembering correctly.

« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2011, 13:58 »
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well that does along with the iStock theory that "money doesn't make contributors happy"   ;D

lisafx

« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2011, 14:16 »
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I'm really upset about this!  It is 2pm on Monday and still no word about how HQ is handling this situation.  Just checking my sales for Saturday, I made as much as a weekday, and nearly all are fraudulent purchases.

Like Joanne and Sean, my stolen images were construction related too.  Looks like someone is putting together a CD of building themed images.  If Istock doesn't manage to stop this from happening soon, they will most likely choose another subject next. 

Gostwyck makes a great point - this happened for only a brief time at BigStock and was handled quickly and effectively, while we were kept informed.  I am troubled that thieves seem to feel Istock is such an open and unprotected target.  Also very troubling is that there has been no response to contributors concerning this massive theft of our property! 

rubyroo

« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2011, 14:38 »
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I'm so sorry this is happening to people.  I feel bad for joking about my work not being good enough to steal.  I'd actually be really distressed if this was happening to me, so I'm very sorry to hear that it's not over yet.

« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2011, 14:42 »
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Yet another iStock epic fail.

« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2011, 15:05 »
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There are so many outstanding issues - site bugs and various other things that have come up - that admin just doesn't seem to be staying on top of. I don't know if they're there in the office and looking at the forum traffic and just ignoring it; or so busy with some hair-on-fire other work that they aren't looking; or they've looked and don't see there's any issue  but choose not even to say that in the forums.

It's pathetic that they can't even respond.

And as far as filling out support tickets, their recent tactic has been to close them as dealt with as long as they've said in some forum post that they will deal with it at some future (unspecified time).

The only announcement they seem to be on top of is that the new royalties will get implemented this week. Oh woopee!!

lisafx

« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2011, 15:14 »
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There are so many outstanding issues - site bugs and various other things that have come up - that admin just doesn't seem to be staying on top of. I don't know if they're there in the office and looking at the forum traffic and just ignoring it; or so busy with some hair-on-fire other work that they aren't looking; or they've looked and don't see there's any issue  but choose not even to say that in the forums.

It's pathetic that they can't even respond.

And as far as filling out support tickets, their recent tactic has been to close them as dealt with as long as they've said in some forum post that they will deal with it at some future (unspecified time).

The only announcement they seem to be on top of is that the new royalties will get implemented this week. Oh woopee!!

Pathetic indeed.  I am sure you are right that they are still sorting through the myriad disasters happening all at once.  

As contributors, we all put the highest priority on the theft of our work, but from a management standpoint, I guess Istock just isn't that concerned about it.  In which case, it will continue because the thieves know they have found an easy mark.   >:(

Even more than the 5% royalty drop, this lack of security makes me hesitant to continue uploading there. 
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 15:16 by lisafx »

« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2011, 15:22 »
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Does iStock really think that people will be happy (...)? 
Yes.

« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2011, 15:30 »
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I'm really upset about this!  It is 2pm on Monday and still no word about how HQ is handling this situation.  Just checking my sales for Saturday, I made as much as a weekday, and nearly all are fraudulent purchases.

Like Joanne and Sean, my stolen images were construction related too.  Looks like someone is putting together a CD of building themed images.  If Istock doesn't manage to stop this from happening soon, they will most likely choose another subject next. 

Gostwyck makes a great point - this happened for only a brief time at BigStock and was handled quickly and effectively, while we were kept informed.  I am troubled that thieves seem to feel Istock is such an open and unprotected target.  Also very troubling is that there has been no response to contributors concerning this massive theft of our property! 

Maybe IS has been "asking for it" by pushing their expensive imagery on their website as a kind of tempting bait for anyone who has a fraudulent credit card and a sales outlet where they can unload DVDs of pirated stuff for $1 per.  This sales policy has evidently been a discouragement to their legitimate customers and an encouragement for thieves.

Long ago when I was in a developing country's capital city I visited the area which was notorious for selling pirated warez, just for chuckles.  It was the extremely expensive software packages created by Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, etc. that were being pushed on the street, not the modestly priced stuff.  Likewise, it's the outrageously priced Gucci stuff that's a magnet for knock-off competitors, not the stuff they sell in Walmart and Sears.

As for detecting fraudulent purchases ... you'd think that it would be easy to let any through anything by an established customer, optionally tagging it for later attention if it's at a suspiciously high volume or price tag.  But anything high-volume or very expensive purchased by a NEW customer should get stalled, e.g. with an innocuous response, like, "we're sorry but this purchase has been momentarily delayed, you will be notified as soon as your file(s) are available for download."  Also, you'd think by now that there would be some kind of pattern in location of the IP addresses from which fraudulent purchases are being made.  If the IP address is from an out-of-the-way country but the billing address corresponding to the credit card is somewhere else then that should be another red flag.  I don't see any reason why really simple scripts like this cannot be written in a few minutes, then the IT people work shifts to monitor the buying activity and jump all over any alarms that are triggered by their scripts.  After all its only their livelihood that's at stake here, LOL.

« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2011, 16:24 »
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Does iStock really think that people will be happy (...)?  
Yes.
Do you think they give rats  *** ? (apart from a select few who just have to be the pianists to shoot at). I always have the feeling over in HQ they refer to us as that bunch of whiners, or put up polls about how many angry replies their next announcement will bring . Pop in in the forums once inna while to soothe things (or just lock them up with a snarky comment) and do whatever fits them without any consideration whatsoever for the contributors (apart from another select few).
(im sorry, i'm not usually such a pessimist but all the things happening there since september are just...a surreal freaky show)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 16:27 by Artemis »

lisafx

« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2011, 17:41 »
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As for detecting fraudulent purchases ... you'd think that it would be easy to let any through anything by an established customer, optionally tagging it for later attention if it's at a suspiciously high volume or price tag.  But anything high-volume or very expensive purchased by a NEW customer should get stalled, e.g. with an innocuous response, like, "we're sorry but this purchase has been momentarily delayed, you will be notified as soon as your file(s) are available for download."  Also, you'd think by now that there would be some kind of pattern in location of the IP addresses from which fraudulent purchases are being made.  If the IP address is from an out-of-the-way country but the billing address corresponding to the credit card is somewhere else then that should be another red flag.  I don't see any reason why really simple scripts like this cannot be written in a few minutes, then the IT people work shifts to monitor the buying activity and jump all over any alarms that are triggered by their scripts.  After all its only their livelihood that's at stake here, LOL.

^^That all makes perfect sense Pet Chia.  The above steps should have already been implemented.  But unfortunately that would require that TPTB at Istockphoto give a sh&t. 

« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2011, 18:14 »
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Lots of things sound simple until you consider the volume of transactions that can be generated by scammers running mindless scripts and programs.  These guys can overwhelm a defense by simply generating more questionable transactions than IS, or any web company, could possibly review individually, leaving the agency with a choice of shutting down or letting all transactions complete. 

Don't underestimate the difficulties a web seller like IS might face if they're being systematically attacked by crooks with technical skills and unlimited time.   

« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2011, 18:23 »
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Don't underestimate the difficulties a web seller like IS might face if they're being systematically attacked by crooks with technical skills and unlimited time.   

But how come it is only IS that still appears to have this issue?

As a policeman once advised me (after a burglary) crooks are essentially lazy people, which is why they're not working properly like most of us, and will always go for the easiest target. He told me I just needed to make sure that my house had visibly more protection than my neighbours and the the thieves would choose theirs over mine.

« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2011, 18:42 »
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iStock appears to be a special target here. Why would someone attack them specifically?

While it's obvious back then when the VETTA images were the target but now it affects even non-exclusives...  ???

I'd assume there would be "easier" targets (agencies) that may not have extensive security measures to prevent fraud on this level.

OR... iStock has been slacking in terms of their purchasing security to begin with...

AFAIK, once these crooks get a hold of the credit card info they (can) get it along with the person's billing address etc. to have all necessary info available which makes it appear legit at first sight. Also they can easily mask their IP addresses to make it look like they are using an IP from the same city or neighborhood. It's all a piece of cake for those crazy tech freaks.

Usually the fraud victims don't know about the abuse of their credit card/identity theft until they read their statements or maybe get a call from their credit card company for suspicious buying behavior.

Now we can witness how major fraud causes hundreds and thousands of images being dumped into the "free" internet and the ramifications of that for the contributors who have been affected. Let's see how concerned iStock will be about that...  :P

They probably reduce commissions to 10% across the board so they can sustain a working security system for their payment gateway.

« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2011, 18:45 »
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Lots of things sound simple until you consider the volume of transactions that can be generated by scammers running mindless scripts and programs.  These guys can overwhelm a defense by simply generating more questionable transactions than IS, or any web company, could possibly review individually, leaving the agency with a choice of shutting down or letting all transactions complete. 

Don't underestimate the difficulties a web seller like IS might face if they're being systematically attacked by crooks with technical skills and unlimited time.   


Somehow amazon (and other big web businesses) keep their doors open. There has to be someone they can hire or a consultant with whom they can consult. This isn't a problem unique to them, so they should be able to develop industry best practices in fraud prevention and detection.

Just like their best practices in software development, testing and deployment.... oh, they're still working on that....it'll be fixed  - soon.

« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2011, 19:29 »
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Somehow amazon (and other big web businesses) keep their doors open. There has to be someone they can hire or a consultant with whom they can consult. This isn't a problem unique to them, so they should be able to develop industry best practices in fraud prevention and detection.

That's a fair question.    Amazon is a technological giant, and an industry leader.  But I'll bet even Amazon gets scammed out of a TV or IPhone now and then.  The difference is, when you scam a TV you get one TV, not some sort of master mold from which you can then make 1,000 TVs for resale.  

I can buy music from Amazon as unprotected MP3s and re-sell it tomorrow on a black market.   I could buy books and sell cheaply printed copies in Hong Kong.  The musicians and authors would be unhappy, but would have little recourse against Amazon, even if I'd bought these things with a stolen credit card.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 19:44 by stockastic »

« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2011, 07:15 »
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Somehow amazon (and other big web businesses) keep their doors open. There has to be someone they can hire or a consultant with whom they can consult. This isn't a problem unique to them, so they should be able to develop industry best practices in fraud prevention and detection.

That's a fair question.    Amazon is a technological giant, and an industry leader.  But I'll bet even Amazon gets scammed out of a TV or IPhone now and then.  The difference is, when you scam a TV you get one TV, not some sort of master mold from which you can then make 1,000 TVs for resale.  

I can buy music from Amazon as unprotected MP3s and re-sell it tomorrow on a black market.   I could buy books and sell cheaply printed copies in Hong Kong.  The musicians and authors would be unhappy, but would have little recourse against Amazon, even if I'd bought these things with a stolen credit card.

You are correct in what you are saying, but I am not willing to defend IS. I have been selling at IS since 2006 and as far as I know, nothing like this, on this grand scale, had happened. It seems to have come about, along with all the other deficiencies, with F5. That leads me to believe that there is a big hole somewhere in F5 regarding security. Nothing seems to have been tested before it got rolled out. To me, that is inexcusable.

IS didn't get scammed out of a few images now and then. It happened on a much grander scale, while everyone was off on vacation, and continues to happen.

« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2011, 11:12 »
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I'm a software developer myself, and I also support a web site that sells products, so I go two ways on this.  On one hand I have some understanding of the real complexities of today's scam-infested online world.  On the other hand, I love a really big technology meltdown as much as anyone.  :)   

Ebay is a story with many parallels. On Ebay the big problem was scam sellers.  Things got so bad for so long that people stopped buying and Ebay was getting known as a bad part of town. Ebay eventually made big changes, basically transferring a lot of the risk from buyers to sellers by using PayPal (which they own) as a broker to hold up payment to sellers until buyers indicated satisfaction. Now Ebay has a lot of angry, frustrated sellers.

It does seem like all sorts of things are going wrong at IS and their smarmy uber-coolness intersects perfectly with this unfolding disaster, making them look like a bunch of jerks.  It's fun to speculate on what might be happening inside IS, and if I find out that my images are being dumped on 'free' sites I'll be just as angry as any of you.

lisafx

« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2011, 13:05 »
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"smarmy uber-coolness" - What a great turn of phrase!  ;D

« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2011, 13:17 »
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I just don't understand why BigStockPhotos was able to put a lid on this so fast and it's still going on at iStock.


 

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