A digital mapping company called MaxMind offers an "IP geolocation" service that provides computer users' geographical locations. When MaxMind doesn't know a user's location, it spits out a default address that is at the approximate geographical center of the continental US. It is the front yard of a farmhouse near Wichita, Kansas. For the last fourteen years, MaxMind's database has listed 600 million IP addresses at this farmhouse. As a result, the people who live there receive a non-stop barrage of harassment.
For the last decade, Taylor and her renters have been visited by all kinds of mysterious trouble. They’ve been accused of being identity thieves, spammers, scammers and fraudsters. They’ve gotten visited by FBI agents, federal marshals, IRS collectors, ambulances searching for suicidal veterans, and police officers searching for runaway children. They’ve found people scrounging around in their barn. The renters have been doxxed, their names and addresses posted on the internet by vigilantes. Once, someone left a broken toilet in the driveway as a strange, indefinite threat.
How an internet mapping glitch turned a random Kansas farm into a digital hell
A British Airways flight from London City Airport headed off to Dusseldorf, in Germany. Unfortunately for those aboard, it landed safely in Edinburgh, Scotland due to a “mix up”. That’s 350 miles in completely the wrong direction. Officials say the pilot followed the flight plan for Edinburgh, and that air traffic control officials also were […]
Kim Zetter reports that Taiwan tech giant Asus unwittingly installed backdoors on half a million of its own customers’ computers after hackers compromised its software update servers. The researchers estimate half a million Windows machines received the malicious backdoor through the ASUS update server, although the attackers appear to have been targeting only about 600 […]
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