Wikipedia hacked - Footballers need help in bed?

Filed Under: Spam

A friend and colleague just tipped me off to the defacement/spamming of the Wikipedia page for the FIFA 2010 World Cup. Of course, anyone can edit a Wikipedia page, but usually high profile pages like this are protected from being modified by just anyone.

FIFA page on Wikipedia hacked

Unlike most Wikipedia defacements, this one has spam in mind. Unlike the usual spam for penis pills and cheap Canadian drugs that uses a couple of "medical professionals" to promote the site, this campaign uses a photo of a satisfied couple.

Canadian pharmacists, then and now

Unauthorized Wikipedia edits are nothing new, but it appears there is an ongoing struggle between the forces of order and the forces of Viagra. Several corrections have been made to the page to remove the spam, but more and more "confirmed" accounts keep reverting it back to the original spam message. Wikipedia has a rather complex system for determining how a page is locked and who can edit it, and this page is marked with semi-protection.

Fortunately the page being linked to does not contain malware and is only trying to sell you a good time in the sack. This does, however, demonstrate that there is no such thing as "safe surfing" and once again busts Sophos Web Security Myth #4: "Only porn, gambling, and other “dodgy” sites are dangerous." For more information on web security myths, visit our hot topics page.

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One Response to Wikipedia hacked - Footballers need help in bed?

  1. It could be a. those spammers are "old" editors. To be "confirmed", as long as I know you would have to make 10 edits *easily done* and last for more than 7 days *just wait out*.

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About the author

Chester Wisniewski is a Senior Security Advisor at Sophos Canada. He provides advice and insight into the latest threats for security and IT professionals with the goal of providing clear guidance on complex topics. You can follow Chester on Twitter as @chetwisniewski, on as Chester, Chester Wisniewski on Google Plus or send him an email at