Malicious operators are increasing their attacks on .edu sites so they can use them in search engine optimization (SEO) poisoning schemes. The .edu sites are given higher rankings by search engines because they are expected to have more reliable information.

A researcher at SecTheory security firm who was investigating SEO poisoning said he found a surprising number of hacked .edu sites with the Google searches:

inurl:.edu viagra
inurl:.edu cialis
inurl:.edu phentermine

SecTheory CEO Robert Hansen said that many colleges and research institutions have medical and pharmaceutical research and activities described by many of the keywords that the spammers and phishers use.