The Washington Post

NRCC Web site hacked with Viagra ads

This post has been updated.

The National Republican Congressional Committee Web site has been hacked to show ads for the erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra and Cialis.

The ads were first noticed by BuzzFeed reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro Sunday morning, and were still visible Monday morning. But they only appeared if you type "nrcc.org" into your browser; "http://www.nrcc.org/" takes visitors to the correct campaign committee Web site. The site was fixed around 10 a.m. on Monday.

The ads are bare bones links with SEO-oriented titles like "viagra no doctor canada." None of the links work; they lead to 404 error pages hosted on cellscope.berkeley.edu, a Web site set up for a University of California-Berkeley project to turn a cellphone camera into a diagnostic-quality microscope.

The NRCC recently redesigned its Web site to make it buzzier and encourage people to spend more time on the site. Since most of the site's traffic comes from Facebook, most users will probably never see the hacked version.

"We're working on it," NRCC Web developer Daniel Abernathy wrote on Twitter Sunday evening.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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