Cybersecurity team in Safety monitors Discover ElasticSearch open database that was an organized scam with fake reviews I showed. There is an ongoing battle between the e-commerce giant, Amazon, and questionable sellers around the world who want to downplay their competitors and gain an advantage by creating fake ratings for their products.
This can mean pushing people to leave a glowing review or offering free articles in exchange for generally positive comments. How it works and staying under Amazon’s radar varies, but ElasticSearch’s open server exposed some inner workings of these blueprints. Researchers at Safety Detectives revealed Thursday that the server, both public and online, contains 7 gigabytes of data and over 13 million records that appear to be linked to a widespread fake review scam.
It is not known who owns the server, but there are indications the organization may have been from China based on messages in Chinese that were leaked during the incident.
The database contained records relating to approximately 200,000-250,000 Amazon Marketplace users and sellers, including usernames, email addresses, PayPal addresses, links to Amazon profiles, WhatsApp and Telegram numbers, as well as records of direct messages between customers wishing to donate fake reviews and willing merchants To compensate them. According to the research team, the leak “may involve more than 200,000 people in unethical activities.”
The database and the messages it contained revealed the tactics used by questionable vendors. One way is for sellers to send the customer a link for the items or products for which they want 5-star ratings, and then the customer makes a purchase. After a few days, the customer leaves a positive feedback and sends a message to the seller, making a payment through PayPal – which can be a “refund” while keeping the item free.
Because reimbursement payments are kept away from the Amazon platform, fake and paid reviews are hard to spot. The ElasticSearch open server was detected on March 1, but the owner could not be determined. However, the leak was noticed and the server was backed up on March 6th.
Amazon Community Guidelines and Review do not allow sellers to review their own products or provide any “monetary reward, discount, free product, or other compensation” in exchange for positive reviews – including from third-party organizations. However, given Amazon is a prominent online marketplace, it is likely that some sellers will continue to attempt to misuse the review system to increase their revenue.
An Amazon spokesperson commented: “We want Amazon customers to shop with confidence because they know the reviews they read are original and relevant.” “We have clear guidelines for both auditors and sales partners prohibiting abuse of our community functions, and we suspend, prohibit, and take legal action against those who violate these guidelines.”
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