ScipioAfricanus then brings us to the story of SlimVirgin. SlimVirgin is an administrator for Wikipedia. Judd Bagley has been known to sock puppet on Wikipedia with many screen names, and the administrators have disallowed these things. (They even went so far as to ban Wikipedia editing from all IP addresses owned by Overstock.com.)
Naturally, Bagley isn’t too happy that SlimVirgin is involved in the quest to stop him from his Black Ops which include vandalism to Wikipedia articles.
So Bagley decides to send SlimVirgin some emails laced with spyware. What’s the point? Scipio explains:
… the primary purpose was to spy on Wikipedia administrator SlimVirgin. This may be the most damning spyware so far as it is sent under false pretenses, hidden and is resident on the victim’s computer. As such, it can expose the folder structure of the user. It could also expose the victim’s real name or company name if that is included in their file structure.
Scipio also says:
Judd Bagley, currently Director of Communication for Overstock.com, sent a series of 20 emails to Wikipedia’s SlimVigin from July 19, 2006 to July 29, 2006. The first two contained spyware designed to:
- Be downloaded to her hard drive
- Obtain her IP address
- Possibly obtain her folder structure and any data it may reveal
- Do the same for anyone she may forward the message to
To gain trust (and add creepiness), Bagley posed as a woman named “Becky Beckett”. Such tactics impressed Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne so much, he hired Bagley about a month later.
In this email, “Becky Beckett” signs the email as “WordBomb,” a known Judd Bagley sockpuppet (although it apparently wasn’t known at the time of this email):
From: Becky Beckett
Date: Aug 28, 2006 2:44 AM
Subject: we need to talk.
To: Sarah <…@gmail.com>
As I’m sure you know by now, we’ve been doing some homework. And not too long ago, we “cracked the code” you might say, on you and your activities on WP. At this point, we have what I think is a complete picture, including your various sockpuppets (several, including Jon513 and Szero, both of which were mentioned publicly yesterday I believe), anonymous IPs (in London, Edinburgh, NYC, etc), proxies (many). You get the idea. And you’ve done everything you’ve banned others for doing. We have the diffs.
We also have long past wikidumps, which have been available for download in their original form, complete with many since “oversighted” pages nicely intact (talk about an oversight!).
All in all, Slim, it’s very unlikely that you’ll make it through this one. Right now, our plan is to present these data in a rather high profile venue where you can’t silence us, so please just accept that there’s not much you can do, and Jimbo will find himself under a bit of pressure to make changes, especially with what’s afoot.
That said, I hope you understand that I don’t have anything against you per se. I have things I want, and you stand in the way, so I now I’m removing you. At the same time, there’s no reason we can’t co-exist under specific circumstances.
And that’s what I want to discuss with you.
If I don’t hear back, I’ll assume you’d rather take your chances on what’s coming.
Lovely. Bagley would have you think he’s just this clever little investigator who found out who SlimVirgin was with hard work. The reality is that he used spyware to accomplish it.
This all may seem strange, but it’s clear to those of us who have been watching the Overstock.com story unfold that it’s simple. These activities are just more “Black Ops” aimed at intimidating anyone who dares to say anything against the company, or in this case, anyone who dares to stop Bagely from furthering his agenda on Wikipedia.