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How to "hack" online polls

By Reid Weatherly
On October 16, 2008

Every Internet poll can be "hacked," and here is how they do it. First, download Firefox. Next, load up whichever poll that is desired to be endlessly voted on. Once someone has initially voted, they need to go to "Tools." Next, click "Clear Private Data" and make sure to have the "Cookies" box checked. Afterwards, click the "Clear Private Data Now" button and then revote. The process can be repeated as many times as one wants to vote. The reason this is important is because not only is the MATC site vulnerable, but so is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. For instance, JSOnline had a fashion contest about one year ago in which three contestants were disqualified because more people voted than exist in the state of Wisconsin. Currently JSOnline still uses cookies to store information, which is a main cause of the problem.

This process should be considered before believing Internet polls. The real concern comes when a program, which could be easily made, does the whole process over and over automatically. To avoid becoming too technical, someone could potentially setup one computer to repeat this process up to four times simultaneously.

Also, this can be done to make a site look as though it has been seen more often than it really has, which bumps it up to a number one status on a search engine, even though it really isn't that popular.

It is important to know that deleting your cookies will erase all login information for any site used, including Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and MySpace.

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