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You know that a company loses touch with reality, when it sues companies selling its own products.

Apple iPhone 3G3Gstore.de is a german online store selling the iPhone 3G without the usual Simlock or T-Mobile contract. They can do so legally, as they import the iPhones from other EU countries where the unlocked iPhones are sold to the public for prepaid customers. Therefore it’s only obvious that they use Apple’s official promotional pictures to sell the popular Apple gadget. Without any warning Apple sent 3Gstore.de a Cease and Desist letter, disallowing any future use of Apple product images and a 1780 Euro (2271 US$) bill attached for legal cost. Asked by german mac magazine Macnotes.de if other sites using their image material can expect similar costly C&D ‘treatment’, Apple Inc. only referred to their Image Use Agreement that disallows all image editing and usage in any commercial context, such as competitions or other non-editorial appearances.

To free itself and other blogs or websites from the risk of receiving such a hefty bill by Apple Inc., 3Gstore.de paid Photographer Lukas Palik to create professional looking iPhone 3G photos that are now also being licensed under the very liberal Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, allowing editing and commercial usage. These Photos can be downloaded in the original Resolution from the 3Gstore.de Blog and on Flickr.

We’ve seen myspace phishing attempts before and all the email scams before relied on sending the user to a myspace-lookalike site where he was asked to login. Now a new scam is threatening the myspace community. And this time the bad guys upgraded to web2.0 and took phishing, spamming and viral marketing techniques to create a new dangerous mashup.
You have probably seen the following messages in the myspace comments lately: “See who is spying on your MySpace page! Start tracking your profile lurkers!” or “Hey, I can see who looks at my profile! Now you can see everyone who looks at your MySpace page! Click here to start tracking your profile visitors!Stalkertrack posting on Myspace

If friends recommend you use such a service, you certainly want to check that out. Clicking the linked URL downloadthefox.net redirects you to www.stalkertrack.com/super/ where you are promised a myspace-tool to “Track viewers who viewed your page and give you their: Picture, Username, Link to their page, and when (date) they viewed your page!“. Users don’t like to read, so they’ll most likely forget to take note that the site says that the tool is not yet released and they’re not signing up for the service but just entering their myspace login data in a “Tracker Promoter Form”. After submitting your login details you will not be given any other information, you simply will be redirected to a page showing some ads. Stalkertrack will then use your personal myspace-account to comment on all your friends pages, so they’ll be fooled as well, helping stalkertrack.com’s network grow bigger and bigger.

If you read the fine print you’ll be told the whole thruth:

“Terms of Use / Privacy Policy:

By filling out this form, you authorize us to spread the word
about this 100% real and ONLY working profile viewer. You will receive your
share of the credit in helping us launch the tracker. This is a harmless
profile tracker site that is coming soon looking to spread the word about our plans!

We do not share your private information with any third parties.
We do not “SPAM” people with commercial messages nor do we
collect any information to be used outside the scope of this
free tell-a-friends promotion! This is not a “phishing” site
that attempts to “trick” you into revealing personal information.
Everything we do with your information is disclosed here.

We may do a combination of the following based on your friends’ interest.
1. Temporarily access your MySpace account for the following purpose(s).
2. Post “tracker information” bulletins in the appropriate section.
3. Comment your friends about this tracker.
4. Introduce new entertaining sites.

This is a free service. You will not be asked to pay at any time.
You will not be subscribed to anything asking for payment.
This service is made possible by many hours of human effort.

Result: There are currently more than 1.4 million myspace-profiles indexed by google that show one of these two messages. It’s not easy to estimate the number of myspace-accounts stalkertrack.com was able to phish and the curious visitors pushed the site up to an Alexa rank in the Top 5000. The simple nature of this scam is easy to copy so other evil marketers will surely get even more viral ideas for distribution. This is a new threat, that we’ll definitely see in increasing numbers in the future.
Conclusion: Even if they say it isn’t: Stalkertrack will abuse your phished Myspace-Account to spam all your friends profiles with advertisements for their not-yet-working service and other ‘entertaining sites’. If you’ve entered your login at stalkertrack.com, change your password immediately and check your friends comments area, if ‘you’ have already spammed it. Send this link to your friends, if they’ve posted an advert for stalkertrack in your comments area, so that they can stop the people that spam using identity. Myspace will hopefully remove all the Stalkertrack postings and inform the users later, but if you don’t trust myspace, do it yourself.

If you want to remove comments made by stalkertrack-infected users you’ll see that you can’t do so with your Internet Explorer, because the hackers used some nasty tricks. You’ll need to install a safe browser like to easily delete these nasty comments.
German article about Stalkertrack is on gulli.com

This blog…

December 14, 2006

… is brand new – so please handle with care.There were some earlier approaches to blogging for me, but they never worked as I wished they would. I may feel like pasting some old posts from old forgotten blogs into this wordpress at a later time, so don’t be surprised if this isn’t going to be the first entry forever.
This is gonna be me, Randolf Jorberg, aka. ‘gulli‘ and a few other temporary nicknames, blogging about stuff that matters – for me ;)I’ll try to keep this blog english languaged but with a heavy emphasis on german topics. I’m into all aspects of online marketing (specially affiliate marketing and search engine optimization) and the internet business to interesting discoveries on the net and maybe even some viral stuff floating around. There may be a german-only post every here and then, but I guess you’ll figure that out yourself ;-)You can expect me to write about stuff I care about whenever I feel that I’ve got something to commit to a discussion. This will never be a blog where I tell you about all the News that you can read about at so many different places. If you’re interested, subscribe to the feed, as there may be month-long breaks where I don’t post at all.Oh – and I nearly forgot: http://gul.li used to be the index-site of the gulli blog-hosting service – this info-site moved into our tools-section where you find info how to get your own blog at yourname.gul.li. Edit: this is outdated as since selling gulli.com I moved all content from gul.li to http://randolf.jorberg.com in early 2008.