I am traveling for the next two weeks. Today I write from the banks of the Thames in Marlow, England, a town that inspires writing if Jerome K. Jerome and Mary Shelley are any indication.
Hackers have attacked Al Gore's website, but in an unusual way. Instead of the traditional defacement they have inserted links in the page's source that lead to various sites selling pharmaceuticals. This is a clever way of increasing page ranking which is a gross measure of how important a page is and effects where it comes up in a Google search. The site has been fixed now. If anyone knows of a mirror of the hacked site I would appreciate a link!
I am surprised that this works because Google has an eery way of detecting blatant attempts to fiddle with their page ranking. For instance, the ThreatChaos blog has a page ranking of 7/10. Yet when you do a search on "security blog" it does not even appear in any of the search results. I attribute this to some amateurish attempts I made to increase its presence that must have set off some warning alarms at Google and got me de-listed.
Maybe if Ron Paul's site had a few links back here? Nah.
I predict this type of hacking will be short lived. Once Google is clued in they will be able to de-list sites that have this type of incoming link and the hackers will be really sorry they attempted it.