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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    I need to get a better grasp of how parasites work, more specifically, when they change the code.

    As a user, I click on a link at the ABC Site that is a CJ link that appears like this: http://www.***********/click-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxxx. At some point, the parasite changes the link to appear like this: http://www.***********/click-aaaaaaa-xxxxxxxx with "aaaaaaa" representing the parasite's id.

    I take for granted the interception and overwriting of the code takes place prior to the code being received by CJ in order for any sales to be credited to the parasite.

    In order for the code to be intercepted and changed, does the user need to have (knowingly or unknowingly) the likes of eBates code on their PC? Or are they able to do this even if a program is not on the user's PC?

    Bob

  2. #2
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    I'm looking forward to a clearer explanation as well from some of the extremely knowledgable people at ABW.

    I don't understand the whole parasite thing either .. all I really do understand is that my commissions are down from what they used to be so I know they are stealing from me.

  3. #3
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    The end user has to have the parasiteware application installed on their computer for anything to happen.

    When cookies are changed or the parasiteware's affiliate link is activated depends upon the application and how they are behaving at even given point in time.

  4. #4
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    Kellie,

    Are you saying that the affiliate code could be changed after the initial link to CJ?

    Bob

  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Bob,

    It really depends on the application being talked about. They can do things in many ways.

    The most common way that you see these days however is this scenario:

    user clicks aff site ABC link ==> click goes to Network recording click to aff ABC and cookie is set with aff ABC's tracking info ==> Network redirects to Merchant's site ==> parasite software activates ==> software sends out an automatic 'click' with Network aff link to same Merchant with their aff ID ==> 'click' goes to the Network recording the click of the parasite and setting tracking cookie with parasite's info (leading to the aff ABC's cookie being overwritten) ==> Network redirects to the Merchant's site ==> end user makes purchase which is credited to the parasite instead of aff ABC.

    But again, there are several ways interference can happen depending on the programming of the specific parasite. What I outlined above is the most common way with most of the applications discussed here.

    So yes it is happening after the initial click. But they aren't actually 'changing' the original affs code (ie rewriting the affs tracking code with theirs). They are just causing their tracking link to be automatically 'clicked' after the original aff's click has gone through normally as it should causing the parasite click to become the 'last click in' and receiving the credit.

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    When the networks first launched the BHO's into the commission pool of domain bound affiliate the theftware applications (documented at ABW) did just swap affiliate ID's and overwrite sales tracking cookies. Morpheous and others just redirected all infected shoppers clicking on any affiliate merchnat link to their server to perform the theft. It made no difference if the swap was done on the affiliates pages or at a merchnats page...they cookied every sale made by their infested customer base.

    Whooopie do as the networks said this smelled to much like purse snatching so they suggested the BHO perps only perform their dirty deeds on the merchnats domains. Net result was some affiliates snuck through some sales as long as the BHO infected shopper started each shopping session from the domain bound affiliates links. This senerio didn't impact the networks take on legit or illegitimate sales one bit....before or after the CoC and LS addendium took force.

    The combined BHO infested merchant group in effect offers domain affiliate single session sales tracking cookies only. Some sleezy affiliates mostly in the coupon and deal marketplace devise page scripts to automatically set a merchants cookie via hidden popup/under iframed windows. We called this the "poormans BHO" trick.

    Ms.B, Ben, Haiko and HappyPoon have documented this force click or cookie stuffing thievery for the last 12 months. All but a few AM's just ignor the thievery as long as their bosses stay in the dark as they earn sales volumn bonuses on the thievery and non-commissionable sales.

    Basically the networks, having been caught harboring these thieves, have passed laws saying they do not condone AdWhore Houses of Ill repute. They still accept the pimp fees and provide the maddams, but refuse to pay medical benefits, legal fees or offer the johns any relief from catching the cooties. They are basic Getto landlords in the red light district. Our job is to tell shoppers it's safe to shop down there and bring the kids along. Revenue Magazine is authorized to reprint any of this and my other rants.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    >Revenue Magazine is authorized to reprint any of this and my other rants.

    LSD ???

  8. #8
    Newbie
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    Is stealing cookies or switching Affiliate cookies illegal? Is it against the law? Can they be prosecuted and sent to jail? Or is it only unethical?
    I suppose it would be the same as a car lot full of commissioned car sales men. When the other one isn't looking, then the sneaky one steals his customer and makes a sale. Can this be stopped?

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    Hi newbiee,

    1) Go in a grocery store and steal a bag of cookies and if you get caught - see if you land in jail.

    2) Go buy the smallest bag of cookies for a brand you can find in a grocery store then follow someone out to their car that has a big bag of the same brand. Stop them, reach in the cart and replace your little bag of cookies with the big bag and walk away. You're likely to get chased down, knocked on the head and then put in jail.

    3) Go buy the smallest bag of cookies for a brand you can find in a grocery store then follow someone out to their car that has a big bag of the same brand. Stop them, ask them to come back inside the grocery store with you and once inside the store swap the bags and start to find the manager. See if the merchant says - it's ok for you to do that. The merchant is gonna hit you over the head in this case, call the cops and then you'll end up in jail.

    4) On the internet and all of these cases are "accepted business practices" and deemed necessary by most for the betterment of the industry and considered by many as "techinical marvels that merchants can't afford to NOT do business with".

    Thats my humor for the day.

    Rock On! Thats my call out to Nova LOL.

  10. #10
    Full Member
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    " Thats my humor for the day. "

    Ya, it would be funny if not so true. ;P

  11. #11
    Member
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    I think Mike and Charlie have a point....

    Accually I think they probably ALWAYS have a point but this one was easier on the thinker.. since Mike tends to get a little over zealous and over verbose at times..

    This post seems to hit close to those who would like a clearer definition ...in laymans terms..

    Basically, He and Charlie have given us a concise historical overview of the this whole parasitical fiasco.

    Where do we go from here?

    I for one, am going to try to start my own business. I have had "My own business" for 6 years now but my business has been affiliate marketing.

    I think it is time to circumvent the middle man and the parasites.. I think that time has been a long time coming...

    I used to send about 100 clicks per day to CJ and get about $120 per day in commissions for that but now I send between 400-600 clicks per day and end up with about $20 per day. These clicks and sales are very broad based... lots of merchants from many different sites of mine..

    The only thing that I think has changed (other than the fact that my network of sites has generated many more clicks for these merchants) is that the parasites have been taking more of my sales.

    I , for one, am seriously thinking about getting out of the affiliate game alltogether.

    Anyone else done this successfully? Drop shipping? Find your own product? Etc.

    I think that affiliate marketing as we know it is not going to survive forever...

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