I occasionally take a peek at stock message boards like the Investor Village Overstock.com board when I need a bit of entertainment. It’s especially interesting when the poster “Hannibal” makes statements about the financials and operations of Overstock.com and makes no disclosure that he is, in fact, Patrick Byrne the CEO of Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK).
Patrick and his little friends have a history of using dirty tricks to try to gather information on the people who dare to say anything negative about Overstock. Paid cyberstalker Judd Bagley is known for secretly embedding code into messages he posts on message boards, with the intent of harvesting information about the IP addresses of those who read and respond to his messages.
While it’s one thing to use tracking software on one’s own site to gather information about readers, it’s quite another to secretly embed such software on someone else’s site to harvest information… especially when that information is being used for cyberstalking. (They’re also known to embed similar code in emails they send so they can try to figure out who certain email addresses belong to.)
Today Byrne gets in on the cyberstalking action by embedding an image in one of his posts. It just so happens that the image is visible… but coincidentally hosted on the antisocialmedia.net site. AntiSocial Media is cyberstalker Judd Bagley’s site. And each time anyone looks at that message, antisocialmedia.net is getting a record of the IP address of the person, because they are (unintentionally and likely unknowingly) accessing that photo which resides on the antisocialmedia.net servers.
Here’s the code showing the image source, and the fact that it’s hosted at antisocialmedia.net:
Oh, I’m sure Patrick will say this is all just coincidental and there’s really no intent to harvest anything. He was just posting this picture for the benefit of the community on InvestorVillage.