The headline of this post refers to an episode from the original Star Trek. In it, these small, furry creatures kept duplicating at an alarming rate. Of course, given the level of TV special effects at the time, they didn't look like exotic life forms as much as large ear muffs. It was like the Enterprise was being overrun by accessories from an Ice Capades show.


However, the problem of the uninvited guests that clone themselves is not unlike what we face with websites that either sell exam content or serve as braindump sites. Except, instead of cute, furry creatures, we are dealing with individuals eager to trade in their ethics for either quick cash or a fraudulent certification.


Criminal websites duplicate themselves on a regular basis. Now that it is so easy to set up a virtual store front, these people build not just one shop or two, but whole chains. This makes things challenging for us because, once we shut down one website, another version of it pops up elsewhere.


The answer is to cut the beast off at its source, which we are working on. Unfortunately though, while we are doing that, we can't ignore the individual sites, the clones. We can't let them roam free while we focus on patient zero. Thus we are forced to tackle the website problem from two directions at once. On one side is a lengthy investigation to drill down to the root of the Intellectual Property theft and the people who propagate it. On the other side is this kind of bizarre Whac-A-Mole game, our own trouble with Tribbles. But if Captain Kirk can persevere, so can we.


(Star Trek photo copyright © Paramount Television)