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Summary:

Vital Security reports that your Podcast can be hijacked by nefarious people. Okay I don’t get how this whole thing works (someone please let me know if you can figure it out) but I am already worried about Om & Niall PodSessions, my nascent attempt at […]

Vital Security reports that your Podcast can be hijacked by nefarious people. Okay I don’t get how this whole thing works (someone please let me know if you can figure it out) but I am already worried about Om & Niall PodSessions, my nascent attempt at tip toeing into the world of podcasting. (Please subscribe to the show if you have not done so far…. its only 20 minutes a week!)

Nasty man sets up website. Nasty man targets nice Podcaster person. Nasty man points his URL to the RSS feed of the target podcast, and builds up tons of links in search engines, meaning visitors hit the podcast from nasty man’s site, rather than nice Podcaster person’s site….Wave goodbye to your audience….except….maybe I’m missing something here. Yes, lots of links in Podcast search engines or whatever will get hosed.

By Om Malik

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  1. Wouldn’t that net you even more listeners? They are linking to your podcast… I must be missing something!

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  2. Wouldnt it be your podcast that actually gets streamed, only via someone else’s link/referral?

    Maybe I am missing out something too…

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  3. This is a big deal that is why PodTech has “Podcasting Trust Services” for corporations. If any corporation is interested in podcasting they need to have a stategy for this trust issue. Feel free to contact me at john at podtech dot net

    This is something that corporations need to understand.

    John Furrier
    Founder PodTech Network

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  4. [...] 30th, 2005 and is filed under Satire-Humour. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently notallowed. [...]

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  5. We actually talk about the issue of people stealing content in our two part podcast with Jason Calacanis at http://www.web20show.com. There is a very real problem out there with people stealing content. The blackmailing aspect is a new one to me though. I’ve mostly seen it used to game Adsense.

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  6. The return of Hmm quickies #21

    Once upon a time at this blog, we did something called Hmm quickies, which essentially were very short posts, mostly one-liners filling up a single meatier post. These were handy for expanding on several different things happening quickly. No, they…

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  7. I think the idea is that while initially the alacious sites will be streaming your content, what can happen after awhile is that users listening to your podcast through the malicious sites may be diverted to other content, because the malicious site can easily change it’s link.

    What allows blackmail is the malicious site becoming universally known as the “proper” source for your podcast, leading podcast search engines, aggregators, and other services to attribute your podcast’s content to the malicious site rather than you.

    I, for one, think this risk is rather overblowm. It has apparently happened to erik’s diner (http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blogs/vogele/archives/003636.shtml ) but all you really need to do is to check that the popular podcast aggregators are obtaining your content from the your source. If you do that – any possible problem vanishes.

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  8. [...] – yesterday there was no WiFi in the RTL conference center area itself, although there was connectivity outside (for a fee), so all my blogging was offline. I have dozens of pictures and a detailed blog post about the Ready To Launch event which I’ll be posting later. – Russell notices that PSP firmware 2.60 now has podcasting and RSS support. – turns out Sony might have known about the rootkit in some of their CDs sooner than when it was exposed and villified in blogs, and they claim they were investigating and planning to announce a fix. Yet another strange contradiction to their spokesperson’s initial nonchalant attitude. Oh, and the lawsuits continue, ouch. – Another ouch: Om points to one of the things about podcasting that has bugged me for awhile: the ease by which some sites hijack podcast feeds. – And to keep the pain going, Vonage didn’t make the 911 deadline and now might have trouble signing up new customers. – Yahoo Mail and Alerts (beta) have added a built-in RSS Reader to their invite-only beta mail service. I haven’t checked out the new beta Yahoo mail client but the old one pretty much sucked. – I installed Office 2003 Professional yesterday morning on my Tablet and Outlook 2003 crashes immediately every time it opens. How useful. Looks like I might be calling tech support when I get some more time (probably not today), if I can’t find a quick solution digging through their support forums and Google with the error report. Argh. [...]

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  9. This is actually a form of search engine hijacking, and could be used to hijack anything (Web sites, regular RSS feeds, podcasts, whatever).

    Occasionally I’ve noticed other sites republishing content from my RSS feed, and the republished version gets into Google and Technorati instead of the original (because the search engines filter out “duplicates”).

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  10. Actually I think RSS hijacking of blog content is more of a danger than podcast hijacking. While a malicious site can masquerade your legitimate podcast, it’s much harder to automate stripping your identification from an MP3 podcast than it is from blog content, which is essentially just text. Aside from the rare case where a masqueraded RSS feed (podcast or blog) gets a higher search ranking than the legit content, I don’t think there is much risk here. Dropping your name or URL inside content is always a good countermeasure.

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