Is Tesco censoring or were they hacked ?

This morning Twitter started to pick up on a particular product posted on the Tesco.com website :

http://www.tesco.com/direct/inflatable-gy-best-friend/239-6708.prd

Yes, apparently you could buy your very own “Buy Inflatable g*y Best Friend from our Gadgets & Electronic Toys”. It then went on to give some interesting descriptions of the product. I assumed it was a hack myself as the age content was 3-4yrs even though it was ideal for Hen parties.

Since then, it has been removed from their store and an apology published. Huffington Post ran with a theme about the censoring of the product saying that g*y was censoring of the word gay.

OK, think about this – if they’d been hacked, the damage to brand and reputation would be significant. However, they could easily ‘pay off’ any charities that were offended by the product (see their other offending items in the Halloween saga!!).

But what makes me continue to think this is a hack is this. Let’s do a Google search :

https://www.google.co.uk/webhp#q=%2B%22g*y%22+site:tesco.com&safe=off

And oh look – there is a “Grow Your Own g*y Best Friend” which is still on the site. This item is not liked to any other part of the site and does not have an image.

http://www.tesco.com/direct/grow-your-own-gy-best-friend/585-6694.prd

Grow your own g*y Best Friend
Grow your own g*y Best Friend

I am posting the text to make it easier for you to read :

Product Details

Grow Your Own g*y Best Friend If American shows ever taught us anything it is that g*y best friends are fashionable, fun and a must have this season. Findmeagift.com introduce the Grow Your Own g*y Best Friend! He will give you an honest opinion on your hair and style, loves to shop, will tell you when he thinks your butt looks too big and comes in this handy pocket-sized form! With cropped jeans, flip-flops and a pink shirt, this is one g*y friend who is out and proud. Simply pop him in a pot of water and in 3 days your g*y best friend will have grown nearly 600% his original size! Watch Friends reruns together and argue whether Ross or Chandler is more boyfriend material, share dance moves and talk SEX in the City with your new expandable chum. Our Grow Your Own g*y Best Friend makes an ideal stocking filler or novelty gift! Grow Your Own g*y Best Friend The Grow Your Own g*y Best Friend will grow up to 600% of its original size when put into water! When removed it will slowly shr…

Couple of things to note :

  1. Same text as the other post
  2. Reference to Findmeagift
  3. The post is incomplete and ends …

And sure enough, Find me a gift does in fact sell this product : http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/gifts/inflatable-gay-best-friend.html

I don’t believe that Tesco were censoring the name of the product. I believe that Tescos would probably have an algorithm to pick up on certain keywords (hence the energy drink is listed as P***y). Also, to remove SQLi attacks, I assume that you are not able to search the site for * (try it!).

So were they attacked ? Was this a rogue employee ?

I don’t know but it is sure going to be an interesting time someone explaining it !!

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