Ahoy pirates!

Jolly RogerIf you notice anything untoward on the Tagora site – or if it disappears completely – blame it on the activities of cretinous hackers who are exploiting it for their own ends.

The intruders have managed to set up some unauthorised script that adds an extra “div” (= division – essentially a text-box) to several of our pages. It contains links to a number of pseudo-pharmaceutical products. Here’s the cunning bit: the box can’t be seen because it’s off the page, being situated some 500 pixels above the top of your screen.

What’s the point? Well, site visitors don’t see it, but Google and the other search engines do, because they don’t look at the page but the code behind it. So genuine users of the site, including administrators, don’t know there’s anything wrong, but the nefarious hackers gain rewards from the even more unscrupulous purveyors of dubious medicines by getting mentions in the search engines. Searching for one of these products may well produce a “hit” on the Tagora site. (Please don’t test this; it will probably earn the baddies one or two extra points each time.)

I’m trying to clear it up, but it’s very time-consuming. There are around 20 000 files on the Tagora site, and the script can be hidden anywhere. One batch of scripts that I found was masquerading as a JPEG image file.

So please show patience if things don’t work quite as they should do. I hope that we shall have normal service again very shortly.

David