How I killed the #medium cash cow and Bypass Medium Membership Limit with zero code
PS: I don’t recommend you to do it.
Here I will share how I accessed the premium stories of a medium for free. I love reading but I was by stopped by premium access limit after 3 premium stories.
Every time you open a premium post [ First 3 premium stories/month allowed ], you get this preview:
As a reader, you can only read the first paragraph, to read full stories you have to pay Medium subscriber (5$/month)
This is where I found simple security vulnerabilities which allow me to access unlimited premium stories without paying.
In chrome browser when you end up in the premium limit just add prefix cache: to browser address bar and press enter.
Now you can read the premium stories from google search cache.
Direct URL to article: https://medium.com/s/story/the-day-the-algorithm-died-de0cbe70268e
Google cache URL to article: cache:https://medium.com/s/story/the-day-the-algorithm-died-de0cbe70268e
You can also access directly by googling the article title. In the google result, you can see down arrow icon which will take you the cached version of the stories.
Search engine robots use the meta tag in the webpage to decide what is allowed for the search engine.
Here is the medium meta tag.
So search engine robots now index & cache the page and also follow the links in this page to index & cache.
By adding noarchive, nocache in meta tag, search engine robots will index the page but will not cache the page.
<meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow, noarchive, nocache”>
I reported the security vulnerability to Medium bug bounty team. And they accepted my security vulnerability finding is valid, but it was not coming under Medium bug bounty eligibility. So no rewards :)