Rooting out fake online pharmacy links from University websites is an endless game of whack-a-mole for University network security officers. Ephemeral pharmacy web links appear and disappear constantly on major university websites.
Inspired by one of their news gathering partners, Fox 59 News in Indianapolis, Indiana did a bit of checking with the help of a local network security company and found fake pharmacy web pages hidden on websites belonging to both Butler University and Purdue University.
Fox 59 News found sites offering cheap Adderall for sale that were being hosted by the Purdue School of Engineering. When Fox 59 spoke to Purdue’s Senior Strategist for STEM, Steve Tally, he told them, “These types of problems happen with all websites, and we move to shut them down as quickly as possible.”
In April, Fox 59’s news gathering partner PIX11 in New York conducted an investigation and found that hackers using university websites to host fake pharmacies is a problem all over the country.
PIX11 found “dozens of stolen sites from universities and colleges.” They spoke to NYU engineering professor Damon McCoy, who discussed this problem and others at PSM’s Interchange 2012. Dr. McCoy explained why counterfeit drug sellers target universities, “Google gives a bump in the search rankings to university websites, so university websites are particularly valuable to the spammers.”
Fox 59 points out that hackers make lots of money from such hacked websites. They cited Interpol evidence that one fake online pharmacy network made $55 million in only 2 years.
By S. Imber