Developer charged with cookie scam on eBay

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Developer charged with cookie scam on eBay

Auction site may have lost tens of thousands.

A Las Vegas software developer has been charged over a software cookie scam that left eBay severely out of pocket.

Christopher Kennedy built a software program called Saucekit, which could be used to make it look as though internet users had been clicking on advertisements for eBay, according to the court filings.

EBay pays a fixed fee to affiliate sites that direct internet users to the auction site, and uses the information in the cookies to identify the payee for the advertising click-throughs.

Kennedy boasted on message boards that one of his clients was clearing US$10,000 ($11,411) a month using the software, and another was making US$7,000 ($7,987) a month.

EBay sent him a cease and desist notice in March but Kennedy ignored this and insulted the company and its request in message board postings. EBay also filed a civil suit before involving the police.

Kennedy is facing one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of US$250,000 ($285,000).

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