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If the Berkman Center Can’t Secure Itself

Yesterday morning I received a comment spam attempt that had its URL link to a wiki page at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society (at Harvard University). Before approving the comment, I checked out the wiki page. It was full of spam links. I checked out the wiki’s Main Page. A handful of spam links, all gambling related. I sent an email to the generic email address for the Berkman Center. This morning, out of curiosity I looked at the wiki again. Still full of garbage.

Looking through the history of the site’s Main Page, it looks like the wiki was set up on January 3, 2007 at 4:45pm, and last legitimately edited on February 28th. The first spam appeared on April 28th. Since then, the spammers (drugs vs. casino/gambling) have been fighting over the site.

I realize that my notification about this site was sent two days before a major US holiday, but the fact that this site has been allowed to be abused for over a year and a half is frightening. Obviously, this wiki has been forgotten after some long lost project. Did it’s administrator graduate? Did the project not get funding? Regardless, someone must be maintaining the hardware and site. Somewhere there’s a log file needing to be watched. Groups like the Berkman Center need to set a positive example for secured web systems.