Two iPod-related websites went to war on Wednesday afternoon, with one trying to hijack the other’s visitors.
The hijacking was only possible because SmashMyiPod.com contained hidden code to Buy Me an iPod .com that was intended to overwhelm and crash the site, according to Travis LaMarr, Buy Me an iPod .com’s webmaster.
LaMarr, a 19-year-old student, said there was a link to his site hidden in an iframe on SmashMyiPod.com that was visible only when viewing the site’s source.
As a result, visitors to SmashMyiPod.com were served the contents of Buy Me an iPod .com, but never got to see the site. The tactic was intended to eat up Buy Me an iPod .com’s bandwidth and crash the site, LaMarr claimed.
Why would SmashMyiPod.com do this?
According to LaMarr, the site is unhappy with accusations he made calling the gadget-smashing project a “scam.”
“I call them a scam as everyone else is,” said LaMarr by IM. “I’m guessing (the iframe is) a way to sabotage me.”
So LaMarr added a script to his site that hijacked visitors to SmashMyiPod.com. The script worked only as long as SmashMyiPod.com contained the hidden iframe link.
The iframe has been removed, but can still be found in Google’s cache of the site. The redirect still works, and the hidden iframe can be seen if you view source and search for “buymeanipod.”
LaMarr said he found the hidden link when his visitors jumped overnight from 100 to 10,000 a day. He said he sent SmashMyiPod.com e-mail asking for the hidden link to be removed, but didn’t get a response.
“Yegor Simpson,” a 19-year-old student who runs SmashMyiPod.com, admitted inserting the link, but said he hasn’t received any e-mail asking for it to be removed.
“I got no e-mail from him,” said Simpson in an e-mail to me. “I did ask him to get rid of the scam comments about my site, he didn’t. So I’m doing it for him.”
LaMarr said he’s happy to get a link from SmashMyiPod.com, but he’d like one visitors can actually see.
“Hey, I’m all for the free publicity — 10,000 hits in a day (is) not bad. But no one can see it. I’d be fine with it if they posted a link to it, but they won’t.”