Monday, May 26, 2008

weasels ripped my photostream

I've been uploading photos to panoramio and then to google earth for a few months, and gotten a couple useful comments, as well as pointing out mis-labeled locations. Yesterday I got what I would consider a comment worth reporting to the authorities, and since then I've gotten a half dozen. If I have so many in a short time, I wouldn't be surprised if this useful service is being ripped to shreds by malevolent ghost users.

Here's the message body:

"Thanks for publishing this great photo you qualified for a SPECIAL gift. CLICK HERE to claim your gift."

Of course, the tip-off was they selected mundane photos I've uploaded for geo-tracking purposes, none of the more photogenic subjects, not to mention "SPECIAL gift" just has to be a trap. I wasted no time in reporting this abuse to the admins, but it's Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. and possibly response time will be above average.

The first trash arrived at 4:34 PM local time, and the latest within the hour.

Using the Lynx text browser on NetBSD, I gingerly looked beneath the scab in this comment. Panoramio lets one embed links in comments, so this is ripe for people who should be beaten with sticks. The links all go through the exact same "snipurl" and expand to these domains:

clickbooth dot com
monetizeit dot net
and end up at:
bahamiancruises dot net

Wow, what a prize, junk mail telling me I've won a cruise; just send money for the postage to deliver the tickets, or a time share, or whatever.

The user ids so far are:


As Bugs would say, what kind of maroons are they, anyway?

I've gone ahead and deleted these from my streams, and will be on the look out for more over the next few days.


JSpath55 said...

- - - -
Panoramio is down for maintenance

Sorry, we are having some problems.
We will be back in a few minutes.
- - - -
Oh, good!

Marcos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcos said...

"Thanks for publishing this great photo you qualified for a SPECIAL gift. CLICK HERE to claim your gift."

Just to confirm that today I also received the same message... from " Aceyeldon1957 " , and after googling it, I found your blog. In my case, the selected photo was my favourite one, so I was curious... but a prize is probably too much. And the web link did not work anyway... but better not to try!
thanx and watch out

Simon said...

I also received 4 messages from Artripparis1961 , Angovelorine1963, Andelmargert1953, and Audelhukagripina1972

"Thanks for publishing this great photo you qualified for a SPECIAL gift. CLICK HERE to claim your gift."

I think Panoramio should do something to avoid this...


JSpath55 said...

I got one more as of this morning, so the maintenance last night didn't stop this vandalism.

As I see a couple people already found my post on the topic, I encourage you to write to questions at with your feedback. Tracking down the source will be tough, but legitimate users will thank you.

The latest I got was from

Eduardo Manchón said...

Guys, we are using a script to clean all these comments, but it will take some hours until everything is cleaned. Sorry for the trouble.

Marcos said...

Thanks Eduardo... in any case, panoramio looks pretty efficient, congratulations!! All the best.

Gracias Eduardo. La verdad es que en cualquier caso hay que felicitaros por Panoramio. Saludos desde Valencia!!

JSpath55 said...

Gracias Eduardo!

I sincerely appreciate the quick actions and feedback.