#Motherisk .ORG : Someone spent $6k to spoof a defunct Canadian hospital project

The domain Motherisk.org went to auction at DropCatch, where it ended at $6,050 dollars.

Motherisk was a clinical and research program at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, providing safety information on exposures in pregnancy and lactation.

The domain is now being hosted on a Cypriot web server, displaying content taken via the Wayback Machine (Archive.org.)

Why would someone spend more than $6k on a defunct Canadian hospital project for kids?

Dot .org domains are sought after for their authority in Google searches and “Motherisk.org” returns plenty of these results. Existing search engine optimized results and backlinks are also high, according to our research.

There is no doubt that the new registrant is doing this for the traffic, and perhaps some other ulterior motives. Could it be an eventual spoofing of the now defunct facility?

Motherisk.org – Content from 2013

According to the Sick Kids organization:


April 16, 2019 – Today, the Motherisk Helplines are closing. The decision follows years of declining grant funding leading to staff reductions, as well as unsuccessful efforts to secure an alternative host for the program.  

The Motherisk Program was created at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in 1985. The program’s services addressed the lack of availability of up-to-date information about the risk and safety of medications and other exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As such, the Motherisk Helplines were popular with family physicians and obstetricians, as well as women during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The number of calls to the Helplines has remained high, and closing the service was not an easy decision.

A reverse lookup at the IP hosting Motherisk.org currently, shows domains such as Monash-Fake.XYZ that rips content from the Australian Monash University, and AdoptionPlusUSA.org that displays gambling content – a PPC and affiliate earnings genre with high payoffs. There is a British adoption agency by the same name.

Moral of the story: organizations should never allow a domain name that has been actively used to expire, even after the project ends.

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