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27 June, 2008

Perl.com Sends Visitors to Porn Site

Another tale to do with advertising, it just goes to show it’s really not a good idea to run JavaScript from a 3rd party source on your site, especially if you don’t want your visitors redirected to a porn site!

This is just what happened to Perl.com a few days ago.


Visitors to Perl.com, the O’Reilly Media-owned resource, were redirected on 17th of January to a link farm pushing porn sites.

Geeks who hit the site were sent to grepblogs-dot-net, a site that offers links to live adult webcams, erotic blogs and adult erotic fiction, among other things. Closing the Internet Explorer browser window that contains the site caused another link farm of dubious links to open, from a site called cnomy-dot-com. It carries more porno links and banner ads claiming visitors have won a free iPod.

“I was aghast,” said Tom Christiansen, author of many of the most popular Perl reference books. “I need to understand the nature of the problem.”

Odd that the name of the porn site is pretty geeky too, grep blog? Doesn’t sound like your run of the mile adult webcam directory right?

I guess spammers and getting more clued in, targeting a Perl site..using a geeky blog name - pretty smart.


The episode is the latest example of the perils that come from running ads and javascript from a third-party website. In recent months, rogue ads hosted on DoubleClick, Real Media and others have infected websites. While such services often make life easier for administrators, they also create opportunities for miscreants to defraud users.

Since 2006, HTML code on the Perl.com website has pulled javascript off of the grepblogs site, said Dale Dougherty, general manager of the O’Reilly divisions that’s responsible for upkeep of Perl.com. Once the content on the grepblogs site changed, visitors to the site were soon redirected to other sites. O’Reilly admins fixed the problem at about 6:30 a.m. California time on Friday by nullifying the script.

As many of the members here have done, blocking JavaScript may be a good idea, blocking ads may help or just not surfing at all!

Of course not using Internet Exploder Explorer also goes a long way.

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/19/perl_site_redirects_to_porn_site/

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