Dynamist Blog

Phishing at Flickr

Steve Portigal posts the sad story of how he lost 5,000 Flickr photos to a phishing scam. An excerpt:

Phishing typically targets banking and PayPal information, obviously for financial gain. In my case, someone left a comment on a photo, with a link. And clicking on that link led me to this sad situation. Why did Yahoo let someone post a link that was harmful?

Sure, the forums are also filled with smug posts (not from the flickr staff; they have been instructed to use a soothing tone, while not providing any resolution) from people who insist that the victims of these scams are to blame for not knowing better. I would have thought I did know better, actually.

This miscreant deleted my account, just for fun. And Yahoo can't restore it. We all know there are backup copies all over the place, but they can only recreate my account, blank.

That means that my 5000 photos are gone. Those I can upload. But all the people I've linked to are gone (I've spent a few hours trying to reconnect with those I can remember). Anyone who watched my photos via their contacts has lost me (and I've lost much of my audience). All the photos that were marked by others are gone. All the groups which I participated in by contributing illustrative images are gone. All the titles, tags, geotags, view counts and comments are gone. All the descriptions and stories and dialog with others in is gone.

My document, my story, my part of the community, is gone.

A commenter adds, "I'm sorry this happened to you. It makes me angry on your behalf and makes me realize how I have taken for granted that my blog is safe. I blog mostly so I have a record of my life, for me and for my kids, but I guess I'd better put it on paper."

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