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Time’s ‘100 Most Influential’ Hacked

Millions of bogus votes compromise magazine’s annual online poll.



By Jason Fell
04/22/2009

Even Time.com isn’t immune to hackers. The magazine’s annual online poll of the top 100 most influential people in government, science, technology and the arts has been flooded with fake votes by followers of 4chan, an online message board.

Taking advantage of an apparent lack of authentication or validation of the online process, hackers used “autovoters” to inundate the Time poll with millions of votes for “moot,” a pseudonym of Christopher Poole, operator of 4chan. Voting went live March 19.

“We took many preventative measures to maintain the integrity of the Time 100 poll on Time.com, and moot has a passionate community of users who worked to influence the poll,” a Time spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO:.

Time editors traditionally include the person with the most votes online in the magazine’s official list, which is to appear in the May 1 issue.

In addition to voting moot to the top of the list, the hackers apparently rearranged the top 21 names so that the first letter of their names—looking down the list—spelled out the phrase “Marblecake Also the Game.”

The online poll closes April 28, the spokesperson said.

By Jason Fell
04/22/2009




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