SMARTHOUSE Fall Victim to Plagiarizing Attack

According to The Sydney Morning Herald on March 4, 2008, an unknown hacker has been trying to tarnish the reputation of SMARTHOUSE, an Australian online technology news service provider, by posting illegal reports, editing news stories, changing bylines and dates. SMARTHOUSE is a site operated by 4SquareMedia.

Realizing the intensity of situation, SMARTHOUSE decided to take assistance of a Sydney-based security firm, which has expertise in identifying hackers' IP address, as reported by SmartHouse on February 5, 2008.

David Richards, Chief Executive Officer, 4SquareMedia, said that the hacker has been fiddling with the Website operated by 4Square Media for last two years. But the miscreant came into notice last month only, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald on March 4, 2008.

Richards further said that someone or a group of people have been deliberately trying to discredit 4Square Media who got illegitimate access of the content engine.

As per Richards, in 2004, the hacker posted stolen content at the top of then existing news stories. There was a specific reason for targeting SMARTHOUSE Website - it uses a unique story code which links with various search engines, including Google. Each new story has a specific code created along with the story and stays with it till the content is displayed at 4Square Media Website.

On the other side, SMARTHOUSE says that if the miscreant had created own new story, the information about new creation would have immediately emerged in management console. But the hacker opted for a different path of replacing the old content with new content. This way, the illegal access of content remained obscure. Moreover, content access adversely affected and limited the search potential of SMARTHOUSE because the genuine content was replaced with new content.

Further, SMARTHOUSE clarified that till the content is live on the Website, new content or headline cannot replace it or register to the search engine because genuine content is associated with a unique code.

Additionally, SMARTHOUSE also described that in the beginning of February 2008, an Indian Web development firm, Fullstop, warned 4SquareMedia about the access of code and site from outside through an e-mail.

Related article: Smartphone Spying Software Attacked by F-secure

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