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Brighton shopping centre website hacked
The Churchill Square website has been displaying links to sexual enhancement drugs and hair loss treatment after being hacked.
Brighton and Hove’s largest shopping centre has been struggling to tackle the virus over the past week but has said there is no risk of infection to website users.
A spokeswoman said that their development team had “acted immediately” and “all website files had been cleaned and re-submitted to Google”.
But last night (August 29) the site was still displaying the links.
Among the products listed by the shopping centre’s website are Cialis pills.
The erectile dysfunction treatment has been available online since its introduction in 2003.
However there has been concern about the potential risk of loss of hearing.
Among the other products on the site are anti-depressants and hair loss treatments.
Software developer, Andrew Gretton, notified The Argus of the problem when he searched for opening times last week.
He explained that they were probably the victim of a technique called "cloaking".
This is when hackers’ insert links to their pages on the websites of reputable companies, for example Churchill Square.
As a result, the hackers’ website receives a Google search engine rating boost.
Mr Gretton added: “I’m surprised they haven’t got it fixed yet with all the local expertise.
“I messaged them to notify them about the problem and they said they were looking at it.”
Last night when The Argus searched for the shopping centre site using Google, a message read “this site may be compromised.”
Underneath the message were the links and adverts for the external sites and products.
Churchill Square spokeswoman said: “We are aware that the website has been hacked resulting in some corruption to the website files. There has been no risk of infection to the users of the website.
“We would like to apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused.”