Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"I'm Popular"

PCWorld has the story:
Using a self-propagating worm that exploits a scripting vulnerability common to most dynamic Web sites, a Los Angeles teenager made himself the most popular member of community Web site earlier this month.
But it's more fun to read the kid's own account:
A few months back, I decided to make a permanent myspace account so that I could easily view pictures of random, hot girls whenever I please without creating a new account each time.
I began to examine the site some more, seeing how they restrict things, what they restrict, taking some breaks to look at profiles of really hot girls, trying to add them as friends and getting rejected, and getting back to making my profile cool so that they would add me as a friend later. Chicks dig cool profiles. After a little bit of messing around, I found that I could put in a longer headline than what they allowed. Hell, I could even get around their other restrictions and get HTML in there in order to add cool "effects" to my page that other people can't add. Yeah, that will get me chicks. Girls want guys who have computer hacking skills.

Let's see here...what would make my profile rock. Well, the most popular profiles on myspace pretty much consist of people with the IQ and English delivery skills of Kanye West so I don't want to mimic those, but popularity begets popularity. I need some more friends. I need people to love me. I delved into the bug and found that I could basically control the web browsing of anyone who hit my profile. In fact, I was able to develop something that caused anyone who viewed my profile to add my name to their profile's list of heroes. It's villainous. I was ecstatic.
If I can become their friend...if I can become their hero...then why can't their friends become my hero. I can propagate the program to their profile, can't I.
Some people would call this a worm. I call it popularity. Regardless, I don't care about popularity, but it can't hurt, right?

10/04, 12:34 pm: You have 73 friends.
I decided to release my little popularity program. I'm going to be famous...among my friends.
10/05, 8:35 am: You have 74 friends and 221 friend requests.
Woah. I did not expect this much. I'm surprised it even worked.. 200 people have been infected in 8 hours. That means I'll have 600 new friends added every day. Woah.

10/05, 9:30 am: You have 74 friends and 480 friend requests.
Oh wait, it's exponential, isn't it. Sh*t.

10/05, 10:30 am: You have 518 friends and 561 friend requests.
Oh crap. I'm getting messages from people pissed off that I'm their friend when they didn't add me. I'm also getting emails saying "Hey, how the hell did you get onto my myspace....not that I mind, you're hot". From guys. But more girls than guys. This actually isn't so bad. The girls part.
10/05, 6:20 pm: I timidly go to my profile to view the friend requests. 2,503 friends. 917,084 friend requests.
I refresh three seconds later. 918,268. I refresh three seconds later. 919,664 (screenshot below). A few minutes later, I refresh. 1,005,831.

It's official. I'm popular.
Much more by following the link.