Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tracking illegal online pharmacies: Evidence of web manipulation

Date:
August 12, 2011
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
A research team found rogue websites were rediercting consumers to illicit pharmacies.

A growing number of illegal online pharmacies are flooding the web trying to sell dangerous unauthorized prescriptions, according to a new report from cybersecurity experts at Carnegie Mellon University.

Related Articles


Report authors Nicolas Christin, associate director of the Information Networking Institute (INI) and a senior systems scientist at the INI and CyLab along with Nektarios Leontiadis from the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP), and Tyler Moore from Wellesley College, found that rogue websites were redirecting consumers to illicit pharmacies.

By researching the top search results for 218 drug-related queries over nine months in 2010 and 2011, Christin's research team found evidence of substantial manipulation of web search results to promote unauthorized pharmacies.

"We have known for some time that unauthorized online pharmacies have been using email spam to tap the wallets of unwary online consumers, but that method did not blanket enough customers so now the online thieves are infecting websites to redirect unwary consumers to hundreds of illegal online pharmacies,'' Christin says.

Christin reports that his team found that one-third of the collected search results were of 7,000 infected websites triggered to redirect to a few hundred pharmacy websites. One quarter of the top 10 search results were observed to actively redirect to illicit pharmacies, and another 15 percent of the top results were for sites that no longer redirected, but had previously been compromised.

Using estimates of the popularity of drug-related search terms and the payment-processing websites used by pharmacies, Carnegie Mellon researchers report that search-engine manipulation is considerably more efficient than email spam.

"So, to those who aim to reduce unauthorized pharmaceutical sales, more emphasis needs to be made in combating transactions facilitated by web search,'' said Christin.

Carnegie Mellon research is supported by a public health alert by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)warning Americans about the serious dangers associated with medicines purchased through fake online pharmacies. The NABP reports that 98 percent of illicit web pharmacy sites continue to operate out of compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Mellon University. "Tracking illegal online pharmacies: Evidence of web manipulation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811151327.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (2011, August 12). Tracking illegal online pharmacies: Evidence of web manipulation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811151327.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "Tracking illegal online pharmacies: Evidence of web manipulation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811151327.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) This is the latest development in an antitrust investigation accusing Google of unfairly prioritizing own products and services in search results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Nintendo Making A Comeback With 'Super Smash Bros.'?

Is Nintendo Making A Comeback With 'Super Smash Bros.'?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Nintendo released new "Super Smash Bros." Friday, and it's getting great reviews. Could this mean a comeback for the gaming company? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins