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Cyber attack on firm's website destroyed page ranking on Google

PUBLISHED: 09:29 11 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:44 11 May 2019

Anglia Research has been targeted by online fraudsters.  Richard Turvey from Anglia Research at his desk    Picture:  SARAH LUCY BROWN

Anglia Research has been targeted by online fraudsters. Richard Turvey from Anglia Research at his desk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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An Ipswich-based company has been targeted by cyber criminals - severely affecting the firm's Google search ranking.

Anglia Research has been targetted by online fraudsters.  Richard Turvey from Anglia Research at his desk    Picture:  SARAH LUCY BROWNAnglia Research has been targetted by online fraudsters. Richard Turvey from Anglia Research at his desk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Anglia Research, a probate genealogy company with offices in Museum Street in Ipswich, discovered in October that their website had been cloned under two different website addresses.

Their site had been mirrored almost word for word, with a different logo replacing theirs.

Philip Turvey, executive director at Anglia Research, said the cyber attack had pushed the company down the Google search rankings - meaning people were less likely to find them online when searching for their services.

He said: "Google is our shop window when you are looking at services we provide.

"No one ever goes beyond the first page of Google search so to have your company forced down the rankings really affects us, especially as we have worked so hard to create a relevant website.

"Their website was more or less a mirror copy of ours, with the logo changed."

Mr Turvey said they had later discovered the fake websites were linked to a firm registered at Companies House.

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It meant that the first fake website they found, which was soon taken down by the web host, was later reinstated after the customer complained about the removal - using the companies House registration as proof they were legitimate.

Mr Turvey said all the fake websites have now been taken down and the incident has been reported to Suffolk police's cyber crime unit.

He added: "We're really pleased that the police have recognised the serious nature of this crime and that their Cyber, Intelligence and Serious Crime Directorate is actively investigating the case.

"People who create these malicious websites, and attempt to hide behind aliases and fake e-mail addresses, are no longer able to hide in the way in which they once could.

"Individuals or other companies that facilitate and fund this type of crime deserve to be exposed and prosecuted."

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: "We were contacted on March 3, 2019, regarding a cyber enabled offence involving a company's name.

"It was reported that a suspect has copied the website and then changed the company's name.

"Enquiries are ongoing."

For more information on Anglia Research visit www.angliaresearch.co.uk

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