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Reflecting upon a blog I posted 18 months or so ago, Denial of Business Attacks: A big headache coming your way? I was thinking about the forthcoming TV series of the hugely popular talent show the "X-Factor" and the battle for the Christmas no.1. For those of you not aware, or that one-hit-wonders erase from your memory faster than England going out of the World Cup, then let me remind you from the BBC's report on the subject....

"Rock band Rage Against the Machine have won the most competitive battle in years for the Christmas number one. The band's single, Killing In The Name, sold 500,000 downloads beating X Factor winner Joe McElderry's The Climb by 50,000 copies to clinch the top spot. Their success followed a Facebook campaign designed to prevent another X Factor number one."

So, with the immense popularity of both this Facebook campaign and the TV show, I wonder how Simon Cowell is planning to set up his firewall defences against what's surely to be an inevitable repeat of last year's dual between the two forces. Just like any evolving PC virus, or fraud attack, the new generations always appear to morph ingeniously into something you almost have to admire.

My original blog suggested the attacks would appear legitimate business transactions targeted at the victim, which translate into concentrated phone vote attacks for the X Factor scenario. Of course I'm not suggesting for one minute that most deserved winner Joe McElderry's victory came courtesy of a denial of business attack preventing the real winner securing the million pound recording contract. However, I thought it was most interesting how the vehicle of the attack was a totally unconnected social media source, and was far more powerful to dictate change, or people's will than the power of a multi million signature petition handed into Downing Street flying out the back door quicker than it came in the front.

As we all head into our summer vacations, I'm sure Mr Cowell, and his Facebook 'friends' are already drawing up their respective defend-and-attack battle plans for their assault on the prestigious Christmas no.1 title. Reports suggested at the time "X Factor bosses are considering bringing the final forward a week to avoid another Christmas number one chart battle."  Reactive strategies like this are very familiar in business scenarios when the root cause source cannot be dealt with effectively.

I reckon whoever wins this battle should win his other sideshow, Britain's Got Talent ;-)

Happy Christmas Mr Cowell, every cloud has a silver lining I suppose.

What surprises lie in wait for Mr Cowell this year I wonder?

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