Written by Roy Turse
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Topics: The Spoof, Microsoft

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

image for Internet Explorer 'feature' affects TheSpoof.com
Allegedly you can break TheSpoof.com using Internet Explorer

Microsoft has admitted today that due to the way certain HTML constructs are handled in Internet Explorer, people are using it to 'hack' TheSpoof.com, a notorious satirical news website.

It appears that if you wiggle your mouse up and down over the titles in the 'topic box' on the home page of TheSpoof.com, the entry you are hovering over moves up in the box. It only seems to happen with versions where the topics enlarge as you hover over them.

This is not a problem in itself, but it can be repeated endlessly, and if you are patient enough (for that read bored and not being overlooked at work) you can get all the titles to scrunch up into a mess at the top of the box.

This has become a bit of a game with some readers of TheSpoof.com and they have been known to organise races to see who can get all their topics to the top first. In the city, bored bank staff are placing large bets on the races, and there is a rumour that at least one hedge fund has been gambled on the outcome.

What these people don't realise is that behind the scenes there is pandemonium. As they shuffle the topics into one-another, the actual stories on the site merge too. It seems the database of story files is linked directly to the topic placement.

The site management team are continuously dealing with this. They manually sort out the stories and put the topic boxes back in order so that when you refresh the page, or someone else opens it, everything appears as normal.

Luckily, the problem seems to be limited to certain versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, so this has limited the damage somewhat. However the only way to determine if your version has the problem is to try it. Please be aware, though, of the work you could be creating for TheSpoof.com if you abuse the problem.

The topic box is the pale blue panel toward the bottom-centre of the home page here.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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