Large-scale leaks of Amazon merchants’ “swiping reviews” database

Recently, Amazon announced that it has seized or destroyed 2 million counterfeit products in 2020. The e-commerce giant also added that more than 10 billion “suspicious” products were blocked before launch and prevented more than 6 million attempts to create seller accounts suspected of participating in counterfeiting activities.

By 2020, more than 700 million US dollars of investment will be used to combat counterfeit product activities. Amazon announced that it would reduce the “count of counterfeit goods to zero” on the platform and released the first “Brand Protection Report” to the public.

However, compared with the vigorous efforts to combat fakes, Amazon is somewhat helpless in dealing with the issue of false reviews on e-commerce platforms and merchants’ “reviewing reviews”.

The security research team of SaftyDetective discovered an online exposed ElasticSearch “review” database last Thursday, containing a large number of records of messages between vendors and review users. It contains records of approximately 200,000 to 250,000 users and Amazon suppliers, including usernames, email addresses, PayPal addresses, and social media accounts associated with Amazon’s profile pages.

Fake reviewers sell their services to companies in exchange for free products or in the form of “packages” for suppliers to purchase misleading reviews in bulk. These bundles can contain up to 1,000 reviews at a price of approximately US$11,000, with an average value of US$11 per review.

The security team pointed out that leaked data showed that more than 200,000 people were engaged in unethical activities of “reviewing reviews”. Leaked information shows that merchants who review reviews will send “users” product links that they want to receive praise. After users place an order and leave a five-star review, merchants will “refund” users through PayPal so that users can get reviews for free. s product. Since the refund does not go through the Amazon platform, it is difficult for Amazon to detect such false paid reviews.

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