The First Hack, MySpace.

I’m taking you back to 2007 and although it wasn’t the first social network, it was the one of my era, and the one that introduced me to making money online. I remember browsing MySpace and being intrigued by all of the comment spam of free ringtones and $500 gift cards to Macy’s and other retail stores. Now at the time, I didn’t exactly understand how this spam worked, but I knew Macy’s or any other retailer wasn’t giving out free $500 gift cards. I did some researching and found out that these were actually affiliate marketing offers. The person who sends out the link would earn somewhere between $1 to $2 for each time someone filled out the form. For ringtones it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 to $12.

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Now that I understood the process, it was time to get to work. Before I do anything, I always brainstorm on the most effective way to achieve the best results. In this case, I wanted to get the most sign ups, which meant I needed to get as many people as possible to see my spam. At the time, I was employed at a local pet store that was paying me a whopping $7/hr. After saving a couple of paychecks, I paid $400 to a programmer from the AOL scene to build a custom mass messenger for MySpace.com. I then created a fake profile of an attractive female and mass messaged about 300 celebrities and musicians to check out my new pictures. Little did they know, I created a clear-div overlay (a transparent image that lays on top of my entire myspace profile) that redirected them to my phish page, regardless of where they clicked on my profile.

I successfully phished the majority of the accounts and continued the process of adding a clear-div overlay on their profiles, which acted as a phishing worm. Soon I was phishing anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 accounts per day. There was a program called MyChanger¬†that helped automate my entire operation. After the phish were loaded into the software, I would launch my very own free gift card and ringtones campaigns. With this program I could update their profiles, send out bulletins, and even leave comments on their friend’s profiles.

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I was 17 years old and cleared $5,000 in my first week of online entrepreneurship. From that day forward, I knew exactly what I wanted to become.

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