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Author Topic: Alarming Number Of XXXL Christmas Weekend Downloads On iStock  (Read 5271 times)

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« on: December 27, 2010, 07:53 »
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I haven't seen any posts about this yet here on the forum, but there is already a longish thread about it on the iStock forum about the strange number of bulk XXL and XXXL downloads occurring in people's portfolios yesterday over Christmas weekend.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=286152&page=1

One person having had 26 maximum sized Vetta sales all in one day. We are talking about possibly a $2,000 purchase for the photo buyer on that one alone. It could just be an end of the year buying spree for many buyers who are either planning on closing down their accounts, or who want to use up their buying budgets for the year, but to do that on a Sunday over Christmas weekend seems odd when most designers would not be working. Of course that is what we are all hoping it is though and nothing more than that. The disheartening issue is that iStock has not chimed in yet at all to say whether there is some sort of glitch in the system or not.

On the other hand, if this is an attack of Cyber theft then the ramifications of it for iStock could be huge and would explain why they are not saying anything about it for the meantime until they get some legal advice about how to handle it. It could be corporate image suicide for them and they may in fact not be able to pinpoint the source yet or are able to stop it at this point and possibly be the reason why they have kept quiet until they feel they have a handle on it. I hate to think it could be a disgruntled employee who has access to corporate buyer accounts with large credits in them and is using those accounts to download quality hi-res images for a bigger espionage plan.

The most serious of outcomes could be that someone has strategically chosen this time to hack into the system and download lots of large files when they know the iStock Admins are away and not on hand to take action within the iStock network system to stop the looting. What the thieves could be planning to do with all these high quality images is scary and they could use them to launch pirated CD-ROMS filled with our images and sell them for dirt cheap in countries like China and India for example where they would have no qualms about buying or using pirated intellectual property for commercial use. Think of the billions of people that could obtain free use to people's work on iStock in just those 2 massive countries alone.

If that were to happen, then both the financial and PR backlash for iStock could be huge. It could result in a large class action lawsuit from contributors who sue iStock for millions for compromising their intellectual property. Ultimately, iStock would be held responsible for the financial ramifications of an attack of theft like that and it could be millions as I said.

All of this is very scary. Yesterday I had 4 XXXL downloads in a row myself all on the same type of image and all occur within minutes of each other, which follows the same pattern everyone is talking about in the above iStock forum post. These 4 images of mine have never sold before in a pattern like that nor at those sizes consistently.

I am just hoping that all of these downloads are legit and that iStock Admins chime in very soon to let everyone know that everything is alright. Otherwise, if the outcome is the potential nightmare I just was talking about, then it would explain why iStock has been very quiet so far and that a big old hurricane could be about to hit the shores.

Let's us all keep our fingers crossed and pray for some good and comforting news from iStock. It would be great if my biggest fears are all false and alleviated very shortly and that this is/was just some sort of strange photo-buyer buying spree which put a bit of extra Christmas jingle in all of our pockets.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 08:01 by Worried Sick »


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2010, 07:55 »
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I haven't seen any posts about this yet here on the forum,

http://www.microstockgroup.com/image-sleuth/fraud-going-down-at-is/msg176791/?topicseen#new
MichaelJay has said we're unlikely to get any official news until the New Year.
Although not personally directly affected, I'm hoping it's legit, maybe a huge company in an area not subject to the current holiday. It seems unlikely, but on the other hand, it's been going on for ages, and you'd have thought if dodgy, iStock could have either stopped the fraudster/s or even stopped downloads altogether.
If it is a fraud, I would expect heads to roll, not because of the hack itself (that will always happen) but because most of the team seems to be away from their computers, and they announced this to the world.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 07:59 by ShadySue »

« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2010, 08:13 »
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As Sue said, there is an existing post (by me).  You should repost in there, and leaf can lock this one.

« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2010, 08:23 »
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As Sue said, there is an existing post (by me).  You should repost in there, and leaf can lock this one.

Unfortunately I did not see your post and the reason I didn't see it is because it is not in the iStock forum category. I think many people are missing that post you made because of where you placed it. So I think a thread in the iStock forum would be good to have too as most likely many istockers are missing your other post over there.  ;)

Anyway, sorry, I don't feel like re-tailoring my post so it fits as an add-on to your post now that I have taken the time to write out all my thoughts on this. If someone wants to lock this thread that is fine, but I think it would be wrong to do so when I covered some issues not covered in your post, together with the fact that my post falls right into the iStock forum category and yours doesn't.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 08:25 by Worried Sick »

« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2010, 08:41 »
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Since you're new here, you might have missed we have a category for image fraud, which is the category the post is in.  Most people come to the front page of the site which lists all the recent posts so it would have been easily seen.  On the other hand, maybe it would be more "topical" in the "IS" category.  So, I've moved it.

Quote
Anyway, sorry, I don't feel like re-tailoring my post so it fits as an add-on to your post now that I have taken the time to write out all my thoughts on this.

Most computers have a functionality called "copy and paste" which would easily let you copy and paste your thoughts to the thread so that people discussing it don't need to look in two places.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 08:43 by sjlocke »

« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2010, 08:57 »
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Since you're new here, you might have missed we have a category for image fraud, which is the category the post is in.  Most people come to the front page of the site which lists all the recent posts so it would have been easily seen.  On the other hand, maybe it would be more "topical" in the "IS" category.  So, I've moved it.

Thanks for the additional input about the site and good I think that you moved it.

Quote
Most computers have a functionality called "copy and paste" which would easily let you copy and paste your thoughts to the thread so that people discussing it don't need to look in two places.

I hope you are not being sarcastic in trying to school me on C&P. Anyway, if you read what I wrote more closely, then I think you will see that I mentioned it was more of an issue of not wanting to spend the time re-tailoring the post to add it to an existing post since it was written from the perspective of a first post. It I just C&P the post into yours, then I think it would read a little funny from an existing post perspective, wouldn't you agree?

Anyway, as I said, please feel free to do what you like this post. Scrap it all together, lock it, whatever makes you happy. Again, I think there is some good content in my original post worth noting in terms of the potential catastrophic outcome of a potential massive cyber theft and worth bringing to the attention of other iStock contributors who could also be affected by something like that. So far you have only been interested in the fact though whether I have posted my message in the right place or not.

Well, enough said I think. Have a happy new year...

« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2010, 09:17 »
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we can take the conversation over to the other thread now.  This thread is locked
http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/fraud-going-down-at-is/


 

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