3 Oceans Real Estate, A Boutique Real Estate Brokerage Serving the San Francisco Bay Area header image 2

Symantec Issues High-Priority Security Patch For Trulia Widgets, Called “Worst Peloponnesian Unicorn” Ever

Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. ()

May 8th, 2008 · 15 Comments

trulia-in-computer.gifSymantec, the Internet security firm, today released what they described as a “code red” security patch for all real estate bloggers currently using the now-infamous “Google Juice Sucking” Trulia widget.

Tipped off by an anonymous Active Rain’er who had come across this discussion thread, which in turn had been prompted by good investigative sniffing [sniff one, sniff two, sniff three] by the pack at Bloodhound, Symantec’s elite Taskforce Realty Internet Permission Experts (TRIPE) worked through the night to come up with a patch. The head of TRIPE, Dr. Francois Viande-Fichu, released the following press statement:

With thanks to the ever-vigilant Active Rain-droppers for tipping us off, we were stunned to find some pretty damning evidence of foul play in Trulia’s widget, which unsuspecting Realtors have been deploying on their web sites in droves. Trojan Horses are one thing, but what they’ve come up with is something far more nefarious: a Peloponnesian Unicorn.

The Trulia widget does the following:

  • Sucks out the hosting web site’s Google Juice, especially the Raspberry flavor.
  • Decreases the hosting web site’s Google Page Rank to negative 5.
  • Installs a little Trulia MarkerMan on the desktop whose eyes follow you around as you surf, and they roll sarcastically whenever you visit Zillow’s site.
  • Automatically and instantaneously rises Trulia to the top of the Google rankings for all searches related to the host site.
  • Makes the web site owner/blogger start chanting Gregorian hymns in the original Latin.
  • Refers all incoming traffic to the hosting site’s owner’s fiercest competitor, in exchange for a 25% referral fee.

When challenged to provide evidence of the above, Dr. Viande-Fichu displayed the following code embedded into each Trulia Widget.

While {5>1 DO:
Trulia.PageRank = Site.PageRank*2 / Slurp.Giant.SuckingSound;
Install.Icon = http:/trulia.com/images/trulia_markermen_icon.gif; option bug eyes=”true”;
If Site.Visit=”Zillow” Do {Icon.Roll.Eyes And Sigh.Loudly};
Google.LocalSearchRankings.Site.City = “Truliawful”;
Trulia.LocalSearchRankings.Site.City = “TopOfFirstPage”;
Launch Latin.hymns.InstanceGregorian;
End Do}
?end Php>

Agents who’ve installed this widget are advised to uninstall it immediately, then put the following badge on their web site to protect them in the future:

To install this widget, do the following:

  1. Download this file to your computer.
  2. Open the file in Notepad or some other text editor.
  3. Copy and paste the contents of the file into a sidebar Text widget.
  4. Rinse and repeat.

Full disclosure:

  1. I did a consulting project for Trulia last year.
  2. Trulia out-ranks my site for many Google searches.
  3. My site outranks Trulia for many other searches, including, most significantly, peace corps volunteer botswana real estate palo alto.
  4. Trulia’s no-follow policy applies, as far as I know, consistently across all broker’s listings, including mine.
  5. No animals, Realtors, or SERPS were harmed in the production of this post.
  6. Void where prohibited.
  7. Do not ingest.
  8. This blog is not a toy. Keep out of reach of children.

Tags: , ,
Possibly related posts

Tags: Humor · Industry · Trulia

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Todd Carpenter // May 8, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    I was wondering what happened to my raspberry flavor.

  • 2 Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. () // May 8, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    That explains the constant parched feeling in my mouth!

  • 3 Trulia Roger // May 8, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    You might also want to alert people of the embedded Macedonian zebras in the Trulia Voices RSS feeds. I think only McAfee’s Realty Anti Virus Express (RAVE) catches it, which is why we’ve been able to get away with it for so long.

    (best blog post I’ve read on the web all year, bar none)

  • 4 Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. () // May 8, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    …and that would explain the constant pitter-patter of hooves in my laptop!

  • 5 Hi! I'm Rudy from Trulia and I took Latin in High School. // May 8, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Instant classic Mr. Boer :)

    Peloponnesian Unicorn Guru at Trulia.com

  • 6 Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. () // May 8, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Mr. Rudy … I thought those might be your hooves pounding through the neighborhood! What took you so long? :)

  • 7 Kevin Tomlinson "Backlink Whore" // May 8, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Oh man. This is major. I imagine people are taking off all the Trulia widgets.

    This is so scary.

    Joel Burslem wouldn’t care because “I don’t care about your Google page rank.”

  • 8 Broker Bryant // May 9, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Very funny stuff Kevin!!! I wore a Trojan one time. Does that count for anything?

  • 9 Mark L // May 9, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Hello Guys,
    Very interesting. Good writing Kevin.
    After you guys uninstall that widget, head over to http://www.BeatYouThere.com, where we would never think of doing anything like that.

  • 10 Chris Iverson, Realtor // May 9, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Another Kevin Classic. Kudos!

  • 11 RE Agent In CT » The Friday Feed Bag // May 9, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    [...] Kevin Boer has the smoking gun on the Evil Trulia Widget of World Domination. [...]

  • 12 cindy*staged4more // May 12, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    but I like unicorns…


  • 13 T.J. Shanahan // May 14, 2008 at 9:11 am

    That was the funniest php script ever!!! I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. Perhaps I shall whine about not having a life on my myspace page or update my “Sleepless in Sacramento” Craigslist post.

  • 14 James Harrow // May 17, 2008 at 4:54 am

    I love the php script, it relly made me laugh on this bleak day. Thanks! :)

  • 15 Sky Sports blog » Blog Archive » The Friday Feed Bag // May 21, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    [...] Kevin Boer has the smoking gun on the Evil Trulia Widget of World Domination. [...]

Leave a Comment