"Pagejacking" case found in Oz

An Australian company is at the centre of investigations by the FBI, US Federal Trade Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), following reports of what has been dubbed "pagejacking" and "mousetrapping".

Gold Coast-based content provider WTFRC, is under investigation for allegedly stealing Internet content from well-known Web sites such as the Harvard Law Review, and changing information in the page's meta tags to fool search engines into listing other Web addresses - in this case for "adult erotica" sites, says the ACCC.

Unsuspecting Internet search engine users landed at the sites and were exposed to X-rated adult material. The victim's browsers were then "mousetrapped" into staying on a small number of similar Web pages. Logging off the Web is the only certain way to escape.

According to Allan Asher, chairman of the ACCC, thousands of "very popular" Web sites had been unknowingly spoofed and used for pagejacking.

The FBI was first alerted to the case by Internet users in Texas. The US FTC, which this week announced a crackdown on Web page hijacking, joined the investigation and tracked the source of the conduct to WTFRC.

Asher said the Australian Federal Police have carried out seven search warrants on premises related to the case, and will continue to gather evidence.

The US FTC has gained temporary restraining orders against the company, ordering the "de-registration" of the domain names involved, said the ACCC in a statement issued this week.

The first case of its kind for the ACCC, Asher said potential penalties could be up to $200,000 per offence for a company and $40,000 for an individual, under the Trade Practices Act 1974.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Molly Furzer

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Cygnett 2500 ChargeUp Pocket Lightning Portable Power Bank

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

TerraCycle Zero Waste Box Pens and Markers Small

Learn more >

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?