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School Websites’ in UK is Full of Porn Links, Gambling

09 Feb

Parents of school children in the UK are infuriated to learn that their children are exposed to the dangers of pornographic materials, gambling and contrabands through their schools’ websites.

The research was recently published in the Infosecurity Magazine and has since created ripples in the media and the cybersecurity community. Terence Eden, a UK-based researcher and tech blogger carried out the research and found out that several websites belonging to schools were riddled with dodgy ads, or redirected to porn and gambling sites. Most of these sites, Eden found, were in a state of neglect and left unchecked for many years.

uk school website hacked

One of such websites belonging to the Churchfield CE Primary School was found to have hidden pages that automatically navigated visitors to websites containing rogue content. Even more disturbing was the finding of the website belonging to Portal House School – that caters to special students who suffer from social, behavioral and emotional difficulties – had “reams of sexually explicit content.”

Eden discovered the security cracks in school websites while carrying out his broader research that aims to gauge the security of government websites. In an earlier research publication, Eden found several government websites left ‘abandoned’ for scammers/spammers to lay their traps.

“The Government takes almost no interest in the way some of its official websites are managed. The Department for Education is particularly inept when it comes to technology which – given that our country’s future relies on technological progress – is more than a little depressing,” Eden wrote in his blog after the news was made public in January.

Furthermore, the shoddy external links seem to fare well in SEO ranks because hackers behind the scam are linking them to trusted school websites with “.sch.uk” domains. Eden also claimed that users could easily access the said sites through Google’s results page when someone typed a query about the schools in the search engine. “The people running these sites really ought to be closely monitoring them,” Eden is quoted as saying to the magazine.

To keep kids out of harm’s way, the government should set new cyber security standards for academic websites and centralize the internet security issues under a single authority.

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Posted by on February 9, 2016 in Internet Security

 

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