I found this rather amusing. My wife and I have a website with lots of stuff about our recent wedding, and like all good wedding sites, we have a guestbook. Since the wedding has come and gone, traffic from people we know has died down and we started to get visits, and even messages from random strangers. 7 of the last 8 guestbook entries were from people we don't know. Or were they?
Those messages seemed strikingly similar, even though they came from 5 different names. A little perusal of the server logs indicated that they all came from the same IP address. In fact, this person had been visiting our website several times a week for a few months straight. Creepy. So I set out to gather as much information as I could about our new stalker.
I found their ISP, general location, and a few other tidbits of information. I wrote a nice personal message that was set to be shown only to that particular IP address the next time they visited our site. Hopefully it would be a bit of a shock knowing that we were on to them, and knew some information about them. And it might be interesting to see the response, if any.
As luck would have it, cable modem DHCP would foil my great plan. Their next visit to our site would come from a slightly different IP address, off by just a few numbers in the last octet. I should have checked for the entire subnet, but didn't - so they never saw my clever message. Our stalker posted two more messages, blissfully unaware of the careful scrutiny now applied to their every move.
This morning I decided to investigate a little more. I starting searching for other wedding sites and checking out their guestbooks for similar behavior. Surely our stalker wasn't fixated on us, and us alone? Eureka! We were not alone. In fact, by my count this poor couple has been subjected to at least 25 bogus messages from The Wedsite Stalker. Our mere 7 pales in comparison! I felt compelled to leave a sympathetic message for them.
Further investigation revealed that Nick and Jennifer had also been targeted. Who else? Who will be next? What kind of person does this kind of thing, anyway? Will The Stalker see my message to Dave and Lindsey? What will he/she do if so? What should I do next?
I don't know, but surely this is a dangerous game...
Sep 9 2002, 11:40 am