Washington (DC) - A website set up to inform people about the facts of global climate change was recently transformed into a hidden infomercial for online drug stores.
Hackers attacked Climatecrisis.net to implant advertisements for online stores that sell drugs like Viagra and Valium. However, visitors to the environmentally conscious blog were completely oblivious.
According to media reports, the hackers plowed their way into the site's internal source code and injected key search phrases there. That enabled them to push up their presence in Google searches and other online search engines.
Sunbelt Software malware researcher Adam Thomas was quoted in a PC World story as saying that Climate Crisis has "such a high page ranking that they use that as sort of conduit to gain a really high Google page rank, and hope that they can find some suckers to buy some medications online."
It's part of a recently rising trend where spammers and hackers use vulnerable blogs to spread advertisements cheaply and quickly to high-profile sites. In addition to hacking direct source code, this can be done by systematically spamming comment forms that appear in the blog site.
Climatecrisis.net, which is registered to and endorsed by Al Gore, is now reportedly back to normal.