Hackers dig up Amazon video treasure

Webmasters of the world, take note: If you don't want curious hackers stumbling across information that's not meant for public consumption, you'd best not offer poorly hidden paths right to it.

Last night, the Web site Kokogiak.com posted some leaked screenshots of and information about what appears to be a forthcoming video download store called "Amazon.com videodownloads," or perhaps "Unbox Video"; it's not consistent from screen to screen.

Kokogiak.com was built and is maintained by a professional Web developer named Alan Taylor.

The screens reveal various clues as to what the as-of-yet-unannounced service might offer. One page notes that users will be able to downloard "thousands of movies, TV, and sporting events."

Another screen says users can download an "Amazon Video Player". Yet another screen shows a selection of videos, with prices ranging between $9 and $11.

Taylor describes in depth how he got a hold of these screenshots.

"I discovered this by first reading a post over on HackingNetflix.com, about the digital video. I looked at this cached Google page, and noticed the browse node for Digital Video was "16261631". Then I Googled for "amazon" and "16261631", and found these results for browsenodes.com - an automated way for Amazon Webservices folks to find and use browse node IDs. They even have nice links straight into Amazon, which is how I found all of this."

Taylor notes on his site that he did once work at Amazon.com but didn't use any insider knowledge to find the aforementioned screenshots.

Meanwhile, the TheStreet.com posted today an article about another Amazon.com test page, this one suggesting the Amazon will have a video-download service called Lumiere.

Amazon reps have yet to acknowledge that any type of video download service is forthcoming, saying it doesn't talk about speculations or rumors. Yet rumors of an Amazon video download service have been rumbling since January.