Apparently I pissed someone off at IMVU headquarters. I’ve been using the Peer Review Browser for the past couple days. I got a call from my ISP stating there was some sort of “DNS issue” or denial of service attack. A DOS attack? Really? They also somehow logged me out of my account in the PR Browser, although I haven’t been permanently locked out, not yet. Our PR Browser only contacts the web site once every 30 seconds or so, hardly a DOS attack. No, the problem is that if you do peer review too quickly, it raises a red flag with their network operations. The fact that I can do 150 reviews in succession and only have to answer their Recaptcha intermittently shows that the PR Browser works really, really well, and they don’t like getting outsmarted.
The reason IMVU makes you click buttons and wait 30 seconds is to defy HTTP-based PR robots. (I wrote one way back when that was still a possibility.) This forces a peer reviewer to use an actual web browser to submit reviews. What they didn’t count on was someone being able to automate the web browser itself, which is how the PR Browser works. The easiest way to do this is with the .NET WinForms WebBrowser control. I suppose I could write a Chrome XUL plug-in to pretty much do that same thing.
Well, I have a surprise for them. Next time I plan on adding the ability to use anonymous HTTP proxies instead of direct communication. Who doesn’t love a little cat and mouse, anyway? Also, I plan on open-sourcing the code for this project so anyone with Visual Studio can download it and build it themselves. More details to come.