Visitors to the NHS website on Sunday evening were sent to an infected website.

I read an article on Wednesday about how visitors to the NHS website on Sunday evening found themselves being sent to web pages hosting malware or – at best – ads which the visitors didn’t intend to visit when they clicked on various links on the site.

The issue was because a developer had accidentally put an extra “s” in the domain A naughty hacker (although, to be fair I suppose they didn’t actually hack anything) noticed this and registered the mis-typed domain, and filled it with nastyness. The report makes it sound as if basically this guy saw the domain was being referenced, so registered the domain and put a site on it.

Of course people would have assumed the NHS had been hacked and someone had updated their links to go to nasty spam, so in a way they were probably relieved that it was a tiny mistake that was easily rectified, and that their security hadn’t been breached. It was a routine security check which notified them of Sunday evening’s issue on Monday morning, so it’s great that their checks were proactive and picked it up.

But I feel for the poor developer who made the typo! How many people do the odd typo in their work? But how often does a typo actually lead to goodness knows how many people potentially having their private passwords and data pillaged from their home PCs?! I guess, it’s the sort of domain that you would have thought he would have needed to have tested – if he was trying to use Google’s APIs and got the domain wrong then whatever he was using for APIs for wouldn’t have worked. But I don’t know enough of the details to know if it was easily noticeable that the link was wrong or if the poor guy was just very unlucky!