The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Varsity site spammed
- Cyber cops to spot hackers

Cuttack, July 9: Spams certainly help draw attention. They can land you in trouble, too.

Some unscrupulous elements tried to play with the decency of an unofficial website of Ravenshaw University by posting pornographic literature and photographs. The cyber police are trying to zero in on the culprit(s).

“As the website carries the name and information of the institute, we asked the crime branch to probe into it,” said S. Mishra, the registrar of the university.

Preliminary findings of an investigation by the state CID crime branch indicate that the forum part of the website — — was “spammed” by posting "unacceptable links" in them.

The phpBB software used for the forums had “security flaws” and the content was not managed on a day-to-day basis. Since its creation in 2000, phpBB has become the most widely used Open Source forum solution.

“It had understandably been difficult as it was a public forum,” said sources in the cyber police station at the headquarters of the state CID crime branch bureau here.

An investigation is underway into the invasion of pornographic literature and photographs in the website.

“We are trying to find out who did it,” said a CID crime branch official.

The university authorities had received an anonymous letter on Wednesday last week. The website is full of objectionable contents, the letter addressed to vice-chancellor Debdas Chotray and signed by “a well-wisher of the university” had stated.

Interestingly, objectionable contents were posted on the forum section of the site again on Thursday.

The unofficial website of Ravenshaw University was developed by three MCA students of Ravenshaw (autonomous) College (now Ravenshaw University) and launched sometime in 2002-03. A few volunteers maintain the site.

However, the forum section of the site and the forum is back online.

The site announced: “We have cleaned the few undesirable posts that were made on the forums section of the site and the forum is back online now. We are doing our best to introduce a different forum software soon.

At this time, it would be only appropriate to state that the site needs more volunteers that can help in keeping the content posted under control and stricter moderation. As there are only a few volunteers now, there are often times when they do not get time to moderate the forums and we can do well with a few more members that are willing to make some effort to keep things in order.”

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