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Monday, 29 December 2008

SQL injection: msngk6.ru, dft6s.kz and mcuve.cn

A new bunch of domains being used in SQL injection attacks at the moment:
  • www.msngk6.ru
  • www.dft6s.kz
These are calling a script called style.js and follow on from these, most likely the work of the Asprox gang. The registration details are probably fake, but for the record are:

domain: MSNGK6.RU
type: CORPORATE
nserver: ns2.msngk6.ru. 75.63.155.106
nserver: ns3.msngk6.ru. 146.57.249.100
nserver: ns1.msngk6.ru. 76.240.151.177
nserver: ns4.msngk6.ru. 24.247.215.75
state: REGISTERED, DELEGATED
person: Aleksandr A Zamaraev
phone: +7 495 7412992
e-mail: zamaraev@namebanana.net
registrar: NAUNET-REG-RIPN
created: 2008.12.17
paid-till: 2009.12.17
source: TC-RIPN
The domain mcuve.cn is different, calling 1.js. This is related to the recent 17gamo.com domain which exploits a number of things including this recent IE7 vulnerability.

Check your proxy logs for .cn/1.js and .ru/style.js plus .kz/style.js to keep on top of these. It is often worth monitoring all traffic to .cn, .ru and .kz domains for manual review.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Asprox SQL injections are back

The Silent Noise blog reports that a fresh round of SQL injection attacks by the Asprox crew are under way. They seem to be using a variety of .ru and .kz domain names, although at the moment they all redirect to 79.135.168.18 in the Lebanon.. the whole 79.135.168.* block is pretty bad and has been covered here before.

inetnum: 79.135.168.0 - 79.135.168.255
netname: LB-NET
descr: Lebanon private dedicated service
country: LB
admin-c: MHB1111-RIPE
tech-c: MHB1111-RIPE
remarks: abuse mailbox: moh.b@lubnannetworks.biz
status: ASSIGNED PA
mnt-by: SISTEM-NET-MNT
source: RIPE # Filtered

person: Mohamed Baga
address: Basha Garden bldg, 5th floor LB
address: Jisr El Bacha Main Road
address: Beirut - Lebanon
e-mail: moh.b@lubnannetworks.biz
remarks: abuse mailbox: moh.b@lubnannetworks.biz
phone: +961 1 512341
nic-hdl: MHB1111-RIPE
source: RIPE # Filtered

route: 79.135.160.0/19
descr: Sistemnet Telecom
origin: AS44097
mnt-by: Sistem-Net-MNT
source: RIPE # Filtered
The endpoint appears to be a PDF exploit running on 79.135.168.18 - it's worth blocking or checking for anyaccess to this server, and also check your logs for accesses to ".kz/style.js" and ".ru/style.js" too.

Currently active domains are:
  • www.bnmd.kz
  • www.nvepe.ru
  • www.mtno.ru
  • www.wmpd.ru
Some notable impacted sites:
  • frontweb.vuse.vanderbilt.edu (Vanderbilt University)
  • maryvillecollege.edu (Maryville College)
  • guildford.ac.uk (Guildford University)
  • many .gov.ar (Argentina) and .gov.cn (China) sites
  • navigationusa.com (Online retailer)
  • worldcricketstore.com (Online retailer)
A Google search and Yahoo search indicate the extent of the problem (obviously, you don't want to visit any of these impacted sites).

Saturday, 20 December 2008

"Classmates Info Center": Currently planning the 2009 Year Reunion

There's a fake "Classmates" email being spammed out, that leads to a fake video that needs a fake "Adoble Media Player" called Adobe_Player10.exe and as you would probably guess, at the end of all this fakery is a nasty trojan.



Subject: Currently planning the 2009 Year Reunion
From: "Classmates Info Center" personalvideo@classmates.com

Your Classmates Events: Reunion January 16th 2009

" With pride and joy we invite you to share a special day in our lives and join us
for the Class Reunion on Friday, January 16th 2009.
Bring the gang from Our High School back together again!
Great party - from start to finish! "

Proceed to view details:

http://video.classmates.logon.user-gandy3ts0.updateyourplayer.com/messages.htm?/identification/INVITATION=vvffx2dckssqnle



Your favorite people are already here, so use ClassmatesTM to bring them together.

With best regards, Josh Jacobson. Customer Service Department.
Copyright 1995-2008 Classmates Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.




The landing page looks like this:


Detection rates are poor according to VirusTotal. ThreatExpert's report is right here. It installs a rootkit and does all sorts of nasty things. Avoid.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Beijing AUG Networks Technology Co / augnetworks.cn scam

This is certainly spam.. but is it a scam? Most likely..

Subject: Dynamoo Domain name and Internet keyword Registration
From: "tom.xu"

Dec 19, 2008

Dynamoo

Domain name & Internet keyword

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are Beijing AUG Networks Technology Co., Ltd which is the domain name and internet keyword registration service company in China. We received a formal application from a company who is applying to register " dynamoo " as their domain name and Internet keyword on Dec 16, 2008.Since through our investigation we found that this word has been in use by your company, and this may involve your company name or trade mark so we inform you in no time. If you consider the domain name and internet keyword are important to your company and it is necessary to protect them by registering them first, contact us soon.

Kind Regards,

Tom Xu

Registration Comissioner

Tel/fax: +86-10-82797446

Email: tom.xu@augnetworks.cn

Website: www.augnetworks.cn

augnetworks.cn was only registered on 23/11/2008 to "Beijing AUG Networks Co", it is in no way an official registrar and the company probably doesn't even exist. Domain registrars are not actually responsible for checking trademarks, they most likely have had no such approach from a customer and really the whole thing is designed to make you panic into buying something you don't need.

There's more on Chinese domain malpractice here.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

MS08-078: Out-of-band patch for IE coming

Microsoft are issuing an out-of-band patch tomorrow (17th December) for the well-publicised flaw in Internet Explorer. This is another one of those "patch now" things - see here for more details.

"IE 7 users: stop looking at porn now!"


This zero day vulnerability in Internet Explorer has already been very widely publicised. There are no effective workarounds for the problem until Microsoft patch it.. apart from using a different browser.

The aptly named Zero Day blog has this sage piece of advice: "IE 7 users: stop looking at porn now!" Simply put, randomly surfing for smut, warez, illegal torrents or anything like that* is likely to infect your machine if you are running IE.

In fact, because there's no such thing as a safe site you should consider ditching IE altogether. If you're running Windows then probably one of the safest things you can do is get Firefox, add the NoScript extension and then ensure that your PC is fully up-to-date by using the Secunia Software Inspector. Even security firms such as CA and Trend Micro have had their sites compromised to serve up malware in the past, so you can never be to careful...

* or Myspace.. or Facebook..

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Vulnerability in WordPad Text Converter Could Allow Remote Code Execution

Most people will rarely use WordPad these days, but it's installed on pretty much every Windows system out there. So when Microsoft announce a vulnerability in WordPad, it could spell trouble.. essentially, a specially-crafted WordPad file could run arbitrary code on your system.

WordPad documents have a .DOC or .WRI extension, and if you have Word installed (or a similar product) then .DOC files will default to loading in Word instead. So, to mitigate against this you could simply block .WRI files at your proxy and/or mail filter. Or you could use Windows XP SP3 or Vista.. but that's not exactly a quick fix. Or you could deassociate .WRI files from WordPad using a policy.

There aren't a lot of WRI files to test with on the web, so here's a harmless file I prepared earlier:

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Spammers try and fail with fake Classmates email

We've seen this particular attack several times before - an email for a bank or other service that requires some sort of software installation to proceed.. in this case, masquerading as an update to Flash for some nonsense to do with Classmates.com.

Subject: Classmates Organisation.Reunion Website Builder
From: "Classmates Messagebox#329" invitation591@classmates.com

Dear Classmates customer.
Classmates Day 2009 soon!

Video Invitation from your Classmates "2009 Classmates Day Announcement!" prepared to view.
Reunite Your High School Classmates and Celebrate This Day!
Your Classmates Are Waiting to Hear From You!

Proceed to view Your invitation now>>

With best regards, Lowell Abernathy.
Copyright 1995-2008 Classmates Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Unfortunately, the stupidity of spammer is such the they have messed up the incredibly long URL, and if the users click on the link they'll get nowhere. The spammer is trying to send visitors to a subdomains of clasmatessup.com but they have forgotten the dot before com and instead are sending visitors to clasmatessupcom.

If you go to the effort of correcting the link, you get redirected to a site on a fast flux botnet which prompts you: Can't see the video? please download the Adobe_Player v10 Converter and this leads to a downloaded called AdobePlayer10.exe which actually doesn't appear to be malware (at the moment) as it identifies itself as "IIS Fortezza Setup Utility" which is a security add-on to Microsoft IIS servers, usually called fortutil.exe.

So, it's all kinda strange. Let's have a look at the WHOIS details for the domain:
Domain name: clasmatessup.com

Registrant Contact:
inc inc
Greff Frelos inc@yahoo.com
4576810811 fax: 4576810811
8883 Sh Road
New York NY 10003
us

[blah blah]

DNS:
ns1.licence-dsl.com
ns2.licence-dsl.com

Created: 2008-12-07
Expires: 2009-12-07
Of course, these are fake. The registrar is BIZCN.COM, who are often a registrar of choice for spammers. Of real interest are the name servers, ns1.licence-dsl.com is 207.150.183.180, ns2.licence-dsl.com is 66.34.177.43. 207.150.183.180 is an IP address connected with the Srizbi botnet and is a name server for a whole buncha domains.

If you run a corporate mail system, it might well be worth blocking email "from" classmates.com in any case, even if this time the spam is hugely unsuccessful, because all the bad guys will do is repackage it up and send it out again.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Joe Job against GoldPoll.com: welcome to the murky world of HYIP

GoldPoll.com is a web site about HYIPs (High Yield Investment Programs) that is hosted in the British Virgin Islands to an anonymous (possibly Panamanian) registrant, and until recently the registrar was the well-known fraudster's friend EstDomains. Despite this unpromising pedigree, it does appear that GoldPoll.com is legitimate..

..well, as legitimate as anything is in the world of HYIPs. Most HYIPs are generally just a front for Ponzi schemes and offer ridiculous payout rates such as 2% interest per day (about 624% per year) which are clearly unsustainable.

Anyway, as you can imagine there are a LOT of fraudulent HYIP schemes (are there any that are actually legitimate?) GoldPoll.com attempts to flag up schemes that aren't paying up.. which means that they have obviously annoyed some HYIP scammer somewhere who has decided to carry out a Joe Job against GoldPoll.com:

Subject: Gold Poll
From: goldpoll.com.ads@gmail.com
Date: Sat, December 6, 2008 3:57 pm

The most relevant information about the top HYIP programs from the best hyip monitoring. http://www.goldpoll.com


We personally invest in each HYIP and check the reliability of everyday payments. Click on any HYIP name to be redirected to it. Click on Program Details to get further information about a HYIP, find other members' posts and vote yourself.

goldpoll.com

Now GoldPoll.com states: "We never send SPAM and hate SPAMmers. Please don't trust in any e-mail that appeared to be from us and not stated on our Newsletters Archive!" which of course doesn't mean that much.. but a close investigation of the offending email indicates that it came from 211.95.78.71 in China. Now, 211.95.78.71 isn't just any IP address, it happens to be a server where a number of HYIP related domains are hosted:

  • Accuramoney.com
  • Bestinvestfar.com
  • Bestnethosta.com
  • Dalamonda.com
  • Google-analyser.com
  • Google-optimise.com
  • Google-spider.com
  • Healthcarem.com
  • Heroesadvent.com
  • Homegome.com
  • Injektus.com
  • Jampadventures.com
  • Libertyreiserve.com
  • Libertyrescerve.com
  • Luckautomachine.com
  • Luckjewel.com
  • Maxcargotrade.com
  • Ordtechnologies.com
  • Platinumtvonline.com
  • Sekermen.com
  • Toguessgame.com
  • Trancgroup.com
  • Webtradersite.com

It seems that there is a related server to this at 64.63.1.204, at least one of the domains (nasdaq-invest.com) is on GoldPoll.com's blacklist (there may be others).

  • Al-moeed.com
  • Boodjewel.com
  • Deluxeinvestment.org
  • E-investbank.net
  • Fastprofit-2008.com
  • Futureinvest.biz
  • Gpttalkpro.com
  • Higaintrade.com
  • Hyip-profits.com
  • Hyip-world.com
  • Hyipchecking.com
  • Hyipozaurus.biz
  • Katyadumper.com
  • Libertyrieserve.com
  • Mcdump.com
  • Monemoke.com
  • Moneyinvests.biz
  • More-invest-2009.com
  • Nasdaq-invest.com
  • Pensioninsurancefund.com
  • Perfectservers1.us
  • Photos-vn.com
  • Realforex.us
  • Sectrustbonline.com
  • Solid-fund.com
  • Supervirtualcards.com
  • Teekypleaze.com
  • Tieudiemchinh.com
  • Tomerbusiness.com
  • Tophyipsite.com
  • Ukoblos.com
  • Userinvest.com
  • Wertor.info
  • Wmrub.com
If you are an HYIP investor, then take some of these domain names and Google for them, and you'll get the measure of [un]reliable they are. You can pretty much guarantee that they are closely related.

But really my best advice is to avoid HYIP altogether. It's basically just a form of gambling, but with much worse odds in the long run.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

"Alpha Soft Company" bogus employment offer

Alpha Soft Company is a wholly legitimate Ukrainian software development company, this fake job offer is being sent out by someone pretending to be Alpha Soft, and who is fraudulently using the name of Taras Vergovsky (who is a director) in order to make the offer seem more credible.

There have been a few similar emails targeting companies from the Ukraine recently, for example: Infopulse, JavaRealm Software, VM-Soft, SocMart. They all follow a similar pattern and wording, and all mention the name of a senior person within the company.. and they are all bogus. In short, this is just another money laundering scam that should be avoided at all costs.




Hello Sir/Madam.

I Taras Vergovsky, Director of Alpha Soft Company specializes in innovative IT solutions and complex software projects development.

My company based in Ukraine. We've earned ourselves a reputation of a reliable and trustworthy partner working successfully with a number of West European companies and providing them with reliable software development services in financial and media sectors. Unfortunately we are currently facing some difficulties with receiving payments for our services. It usually takes us 10-30 days to receive a payment and clearing from your country and such delays are harmful to our business. We do not have so much time to accept every wire transfer.

That's why we are currently looking for partners in your country to help us accept and process these payments faster. If you are looking for a chance to make an additional profit you can become our representative in your country. As our representative you will receive 8% of every deal we conduct. Your job will be accepting funds in the form of wire transfers and forwarding them to us. It is not a full-time job, but rather a very convenient and fast way to receive additional income. We also consider opening an office in your country in the nearest future and you will then have certain privileges should you decide to apply for a full-time job. Please if you are interested in transacting business with us we will be very glad.

Please contact me for more information via email: alphasoft.ua.job@gmail.com

and send us the following information about yourself:

1. Your Full Name as it appears on your resume.
2. Education.
3. Your Contact Address.
4. Telephone/Fax number.
5. Your present Occupation and Position currently held.
6. Your Age

Please respond and we will provide you with additional details on how you can become our representative. Joining us and starting business today will cost you nothing and you will be able to earn a bit of extra money fast and easy. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us with all your questions.

Thank you,
Taras Vergovsky ,
Alpha Soft Company




Some email addresses to look out for are alphasoft.ua.job@gmail.com, sup.alphasoft@gmail.com, job.alphasoft@gmail.com.. there are probably others. Sending IP is 217.170.2.228.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Awesome or what? The Nokia N97.



Announced a couple of hours ago, the Nokia N97 is a pretty awesome looking bit of kit. We've waited a long, long time for Nokia to come up with something like this.. although I don't think that I will be giving up the Nokia E90 just yet, since the rumour is that there will be a touchscreen Communicator next year (probably announced at Mobile World Congress).

It's not cheap: €550 (around £450 or $650) SIM-free before tax. You can get a laptop for that. Very tempting though...

Friday, 28 November 2008

French "Bill Gates" lottery scam

A colourful lottery scam featuring Bill Gates. The pitch is that the Bill Gates Foundation is running a lottery and you have won €400,000 which for some reason will be paid through a bank in the Ivory Coast. It is all written in fairly simple French, and it isn't difficult to see that the pitch is basically the same as in English.



Subject: Toutes Nos "Felicitation !!!!! Vous Venez De Gagnez La Somme De 400.000Euros"

From: lottery_cristal2008

Bonjour Mme / M,

Nous vous contactons par cette presente pour vous informer de votregain à la Bill Gates fondation ISABELLE CHEVALIER

Ceci n'étant donc pas un spam ni un virus, veuillez trouver en fichier joint votre notification de gain.

Cordialement.

Mme ISABELLE CHEVALIER

Directrice des Opérations

INTERNATIONALE BILL GATES

FONDATION.

Contact Agent

NOM ET PRENOMS : Bouah Williams Herve

numéro de téléphone: 0225-02 73 98 90

E-mail:cabinet_bouah_williams_herve@yahoo.fr





Unusually, the scam comes with a PDF attachment that gives more details. On the principle that unsolicited PDF files can often come with nasty surprises, here is a JPG version for you to enjoy (click to enlarge):

A strange mismash of elements that looks unconvincing, but it does seem that people still fall for this type of trick.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

SINOCHEM bogus job offer

Nice for them to label this as "spam". SINOCHEM is a legitimate and huge Chinese chemicals company, but they did not send this email. Why would SINOCHEM need to use a Yahoo! email account anyway? Liu Deshu really is the president of SINOCHEM though, it's a case of the scammers trying to use a real name to make it more convincing.




Subject: Spam: Free: Collection Officer Needed
From: "Sinochem Company"

China National Chemicals Import & Export Corporation(SINOCHEM)
Tower A2,Fuxingmenai,
Street,Beijing,
People's Republic of China.
PC: 100080.

REF:SC/08/00867546.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We need Representatives from all over the World and as specified.

North America

Collection Officer wanted in this region who will assist in retrieving debts
from our clients in USA & CANADA.

EUROPE, ASIA, SOUTH AMERICA & AUSTRALIAS

Someone needed to assist in setting up a Branch of our Company in his/her
country.

If interested, please supply the following:

1) Name
2) Country

Send your response via email SPECIFICALLY to sinochemcorp221@yahoo.cn

Respectfully Submitted,
Mr. Liu Deshu.
President.
Sinochem Trading Company.


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

bobbear.co.uk "Joe Job" attack

BobBear.co.uk is a comprehensive resource covering money laundering and parcel reshipping scams. Recently it has been under a DDOS attack from the Bad Guys. They have followed this up with a Joe Job,with a series of offensive email messages apparently "from" Bob Harrison who runs BobBear. This has happened before.

The messages have a faked "from" addresses @tiscali.co.uk and @gmail.com account, presumably those belonging to Bob Harrison in an attempt to get his mailboxes shut down.

Sample subjects are:
  • Fukkah
  • Bitched
  • Butthole
  • Penises
  • Mutha Fuker
  • Suck
  • Polack

Sample body text:
  • your son sexy nigger boob knobz knobs
  • your father pusse phuker
  • your mother asholes retard
  • your son cnts cock head bitches knobs
  • our daughter mutha fucker phuc
  • your dad phuck sluts
  • your son cocksucker fuker
There are probably hundreds of hosts sending out this mail, but I have seen 128.130.173.77 and 65.98.57.10 repeatedly.

Don't bother complaining to Tiscali or Gmail about this, BobBear is not sending out the spam. Instead, use a reporting service such as SpamCop to send a complaint back to whoever manages the sending machine.

Monday, 24 November 2008

"Ran-De-Vou Co." proofreading scam

Sometimes it is hard to see what the scam is with some of the job offers, except that undoubtedly it IS a scam. This job offer from the ficticious "Ran-De-Vou Co." offers a proofreading job which is kind of unusual at first glance.



Subject: Successful Positions Available

Dear Job Seeker,

We are glad to inform you about new vacancy opening in the area of proofreading at
Ran-De-Vou Co.


Part time job Description:

We provide you with business messages which require revision and your task is to
make necessary
corrections as an english speaking person, and e-mail them back to us.


Payment:

There is no fixed salary for this vacancy. We offer $5.00 per 1Kb of the text which
you revise (the workload is about 4-5 Kb a day).
The salary is paid once a month, and begins with the date of the first revision you
make.
(Example: by editing 5Kb of texts a day you earn $1000.00 a month)


Requirements:

-Applicant must be a US citizen
-Applicant must be of a legal age: 21+
-Applicant should be skilled in computer usage, and American English


Feel free to submit the application form which follows only to e-mail:
ran.devou.gr@gmail.com
__________
FULL NAME:
HOME ADDRESS:
CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE:
Phone number (home or cell, but SHOULD BE available any day time):
E-MAIL:
AGE:
OCCUPATION:
EDUCATION:
----------

You will receive a response from us in 24 hours.

If you have any questions please reply only at our e-mail: ran.devou.gr@gmail.com

Sincerely, Ran-De-Vou Co. Team



Unlike the usual money mule and parcel reshipping scam jobs, this really does seem to be asking for a proofreader. And given the poor quality of English seen in some of these scams, it is easy to understand why. In fact, there is a whole underground fake career network aimed at recruiting virtual office staff for these bogus outfits. Unfortunately for these "employees", they are usually the people that end up having to deal with the police when the scam gets busted.

Avoid.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

"Louvre Tec Products Ltd" job offer scam

LouvreTec is a wholly legitimate New Zealand company using the domains www.louvretec.co.nz, louvretec.net, louvretec.com and other similar names.

This fraudulent job offer is not from LouvreTec, but it looks like it is.

Subject: Work Online With US
From: "Louvre Tec Products Ltd" Job@louvretec.co.nz

You could make 5,000 pounds online in a week without delaying your present job...


Hit REPLY for more details..

NOTICE: IF YOU ARE SERIOUS TO GET EMPLOYED ONLINE, YOU MUST REGULARLY CHECK YOUR JUNK OR/ BULK OR/ SPAM FOLDERS IN OTHER NOT TO LOSE SOME OF OUR MESSAGES.
Although it appears to be "from" louvretec.co.nz, hitting "reply" comes up with a completely different email address of louvretecproductsltd.n.z@emailaccount.com. The scammers are hoping that no-one will notice this. (In case you are wondering why it is different, it's an annoying feature called the "reply to" address).

£5000 a week sounds good.. after all, that's over a quarter of a million quid a year. Yeah right..

One interesting thing with this spam is the bit at the bottom. The scammers realise that spam filters tend to remove junk like this, so they are asking you to check your junk messages for job offers. Not a good idea.

Originating IP address is 78.159.123.169, which claims to be in the UK and the message was sent to an email address stolen from a UK online retailer.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

ISC: Large quantity SQL Injection mitigation

The ISC have given some good guidance on SQL injection mitigation, in case your server has been hit by Asprox or something similar. It's complicated stuff, and if you don't understand it, then it is definitely worth hiring a professional to fix your database.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Microsoft Morro: free anti-virus software for consumers

This might be a good deal for cash-strapped consumers, but a bad deal for other anti-virus companies.

Anyway, "Microsoft Morro" is the name given to this idea of giving away free anti-virus software to consumers. I will say that Microsoft's malware scanning technology is actually pretty darned good, but having a security monoculture is not a good idea.

I think perhaps McAfee, Symantec and some other AV vendors might be lawyering up on this one..

Friday, 14 November 2008

McColo dead - spam 69% down

If there was any doubt the McColo was behind a vast majority of the world spam, then I think the figures speak for themselves. We're seeing a 69% drop in spam volumes day-on-day (although we still only have one day's worth of post-McCole data). It will be interesting to see how long this takes to recover back to "normal" levels of awfulness.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Estdomains and McColo sentenced to death


After some hesitation, ICANN have finally decided to terminate Estdomains, who most people in the security industry regarded as a rogue registrar with unhealthy connections to organised crime.

Another piece of good news is that McColo has been knocked offline - it turns out that they were hosting a number of command and control servers for botnets plus a load of other unpleasant stuff. Spam levels have dropped by a massive two-thirds as a result. Nice work.. and a big thanks to all those involved!

Monday, 10 November 2008

"DOMAIN LISTINGS CENTER" spam


For some reason, I am seeing a big upswing in Canadian spam at the moment. This one is a very misleading offer entitled "ANNUAL WEBSITE SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION" for a domain that I have parked and have never used. It is only when you get near the bottom that the message carries a disclaimer "Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer".




DOMAIN LISTINGS CENTER
8171 Yonge St. Suite# 149
Thornhill, ON L3T 2C6
Canada

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTICE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Please make necessary changes)
ATT: name
address
,
WWW.domain.com

DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES:
Premium Package




ANNUAL WEBSITE SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION
FROM DECEMBER 1,2008 THRU DECEMBER 1,2018
OR
FROM DECEMBER 1,2008 THRU DECEMBER 1,2013

TOTAL
$295.00

$185.00


SUBSCRIPTION INCLUDES:




Custom keyword research
Optimized title and meta tags
Submission to 900 search engines and directories
safe follow-up re-submissions every 3 months
Helpful professional support


THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amount(s) stated unless you accept this offer.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Domain Name

WWW.domain.com Amount

Requested Reply

November 10th,2008

THIS NOTICE IS A SOLICITATION AND A RECEIPT OF PAYMENT WILL CONFIRM YOUR ANNUAL SUBMISSION
*100% SATISFACTION IS GUARANTEED OR YOUR MONEY BACK

Please select the number of years you would like to signup for
[ ] 10 Years .......... $295 (Best Value, Most Recommended!)
[ ] 5 Years .......... $185
[ ] 2 Years .......... $99
[ ] 1 Years .......... $75
If you have other domains you may list them below (please send a separate check for each domain and write your domain name on the memo section of the check)
Other domain(s) __________________ , __________________ , __________________


Total $ _______

________________________________
Signature

________________________________
Date


Payment by Check or Money Order
Print and mail a copy of this order form along with a check or money order to the address listed below:
Domain Listings Center
8171 Yonge St. Suite# 149
Thornhill, ON L3T 2C6
Canada

Please do not forget to include a copy of this order form along with your payment!


www.domain.com


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold DLC liable for any part. Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation.
You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the Domain Listing Services Inc.
This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. If you do not wish to receive further updates from DLC send an email to dolistscent3272@operamail.com to unsubscribe.
If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents for this letter is strictly prohibited.

* 100% satisfaction guaranteed, you may request a refund within 30 days if your are not satisfied with our services.



Originating IP is 72.51.46.77. File it in the trash where it belongs.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

SGP / melsongroup.net scam job offer

This is a generic sort of money mule scam email, of interest because it has the domain name melsongroup.net registered to handle the email. This seems to be one of a series hosted on Yahoo! There are lots of companies called SGP, none of them is involved in this.




Subject: Join the team of winners!

SGP is an integrated financial group. We offer to our clients a
full range of financial services.
Our clients have all the possibilities to find solutions to all
financial problems of financial market - from bank services and
insurance to assets management and complex operations on stock
markets, from simple consumer goods to complex programs of financial
management of large corporations, institutional and private investors.
SGP - is a large participant of the financial market, leader in many
segments. However leadership is not a goal for us, but a way to realize
the mission of the company - providing for long-term increase in income
of our clients and shareholders.
Considering our development we need reliable and ambitious young people
on a position of Transfer Manager.
The duties of the Manager include processing of money transfers arriving
to his accounts from our clients. After all the required procedures of
executing documents of transactions you have to transfer the money to
accounts specified by our operators. All you need is free time (3 or
more hours a day), skills of team working and reliability. The wage at
the initial stage will be 5000$ of the total month turnover.
Requirements:
- Higher education;
- Age - 21 and more;
- Confident PC user (Microsoft Office), mail programs and Internet
- Foreign language (English is preferred)
We offer:
- Constant training
- Possibility of career and self-development
- Probation period and work in a dynamic and friendly atmosphere and team
- Competitive wage
- Bonuses according to job results
If you have become interested in this position please send your CV to
jacinthe@melsongroup.net.


Thursday, 6 November 2008

"JavaRealm Software" job offer scam

JavaRealm Software (javarealm.com) is a wholly legitimate software development company from the Ukraine. This fraudulent job offer uses the "JavaRealm" name and the name "Sergey Skugarev" which does appear to be similar to an employee of JavaRealm who is not involved in this scam.



Subject: looking for employees

Hello Sir/Madam.

I Sergey Skugarev, Director of JavaRealm Software specializes in innovative IT solutions and complex software projects development.

My company based in Ukraine. We've earned ourselves a reputation of a reliable and trustworthy partner working successfully with a number of West European companies and providing them with reliable software development services in financial and media sectors. Unfortunately we are currently facing some difficulties with receiving payments for our services. It usually takes us 10-30 days to receive a payment and clearing from your country and such delays are harmful to our business. We do not have so much time to accept every wire transfer.

That's why we are currently looking for partners in your country to help us accept and process these payments faster. If you are looking for a chance to make an additional profit you can become our representative in your country. As our representative you will receive 8% of every deal we conduct. Your job will be accepting funds in the form of wire transfers and forwarding them to us. It is not a full-time job, but rather a very convenient and fast way to receive additional income. We also consider opening an office in your country in the nearest future and you will then have certain privileges should you decide to apply for a full-time job. Please if you are interested in transacting business with us we will be very glad.

Please contact me for more information via email: javarealm.jobinfo@gmail.com

and send us the following information about yourself:

1. Your Full Name as it appears on your resume.
2. Education.
3. Your Contact Address.
4. Telephone/Fax number.
5. Your present Occupation and Position currently held.
6. Your Age

Please respond and we will provide you with additional details on how you can become our representative. Joining us and starting business today will cost you nothing and you will be able to earn a bit of extra money fast and easy. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us with all your questions.

Thank you,
Sergey Skugarev ,
JavaRealm Software



This is a straightforward money mule scam. We have seen this type of scam targeting Ukranian companies before, here and here. Avoid this one at all costs.

Stupid but sophisticated "Lloyds TSB" phish

Spammers are generally pretty stupid. This particular phish looks pretty normal to being with:

Customer Service department
Lloyds TSB Bank
September 26th, 2008


To all business and personal customers

We would like to inform you about recent change in Lloyds TSB terms and conditions of banking services. Lloyds TSB has updated terms and conditions for both business and personal customers. Each customer should read and accept current terms and conditions.
Failure to accept new terms and conditions may lead to blocking of current services. Such as loans, credit cards, online banking, savings accounts, bill payments. Take a moment to read through new terms and conditions. There are two convenient ways to request updated terms and conditions. You can request them by mail or use online banking to confirm the new terms of service. Please follow the link below to review and confirm updated terms and conditions.
www.lloydstsb.com/terms

Thank you for banking with the most trusted UK bank,
Lloyds TSB Customer Service Team

We know that this is a phish because a) it was sent to a harvested address and b) Lloyds TSB don't send out emails like this. So a typical next step would be to check the source code to find where the phishing site is.

So the only hypertext link in the document is to http://www.lloydstsb.com which is the real Lloyds TSB bank. A closer look shows an attempted image load from http://lloydstlb.com/images/logo_lloydstsb.gif which is the phishing site hosted on a botnet. The domain is registered to BIZCN.COM who seem to have taken over this sort of business from Estdomains.

The fake site looks pretty convincing.. even if no-one will click through to it.

The login screen looks authentic too.

The next step looks exactly like the genuine login. The "memorable information" prompt asks for 3 letters from a longer passphrase, specifically letters 1, 3 and 5.

But guess what, when you enter the information it tells you that you did it incorrectly and asks for letters 2, 4 and 6 instead. So now they have letters 1-6.

Blah blah blah..

But what's this at the bottom? Yup, more characters from the memorable phrase are needed..

Finally, a confirmation:
So, like many modern phishing sites the actually web site is very credible looking, even the domain name looks reasonable if you only glance at it. Fortunately for the intended victims, the idiots have messed up the spam and.. this time at least.. nobody will get this far.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

"App LLC Group." scam

Another ridiculously worded scam job offer, essentially identical to this one.

Subject: How for short time to earn $1200 in a week? Read!
"Sucky sucky long time five dollar" to you too.

HELLO EVERYONE!
Woot!


Please take your time and read about this genuine offer, job position.Make money
spending only few hours a day, if you are located in Australia! This position either
can replace your current job, or can be as an extra income for you. Denmark
successful company - Apple Sales Group brought this opportunity for you.
Advertisement itself is brought to you via Google ads (Paid advertisement, assigning
e-mail business account). The most convenient and smart position for anybody who has
couple hours a day, Monday-Friday. You will be able to make 1400+ AUD a week! It's
either - you do want to participate in this, or - you do not, that's what makes it a
genuine offer and worth reading and finding out more. If you meet requirements - do
not hesitate to receive full information:
1400 AUD? You said $1200 a moment ago. Are we talking US$ or AU$? At least I know it's "Genuine" because you said so twice. Shame about the really bad English, all the Danish people I know speak English very well.

*You are 18+ y/o
*You are Reliable and Enthusiastic person.
*You Have 2-3 Hours a Day of Your Spare/Free Time, Monday-Friday(Saturday).
*You Are Located in United Kingdom/Ireland.
*You Have Access to Internet 2-3 Hours A Day, Monday-Friday(Saturday).
Didn't you just say Australia? These are different countries, you know.

Reference:
"The Most Creative Opportunity of The Month" - "Two Time" Magazine, quote by Angela
Roer.
"Consider This Opportunity" - "Behind The Truth" Magazine, quote by Marcus Stowee.
"I can't believe I was so stupid" - "State Penitentiary newsletter", quote by hapless money mule victim.

To receive full information reply only to e-mail: apple.swed404@gmail.com
with subject "More Information" and one of our representatives will assist you
shortly.
Thank you for your interest and Good Luck!


Best Regards,
App LLC Group.
Apple.Swed404? Sweden? I thought you said you were based in Denmark? App LLC? That wasn't the company name you gave earlier.

Originating IP is 95.57.7.182 in Kazakhstan. That country has featured in these fake job offers before (here and here).

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

"Recovery KEYS for your account" trojan

Another day, another ZIP-in-EXE trojan with a lot of spaces in it.


Subject: Recovery KEYS for your account

Good afternoon, [victim]

There are the keys to recover your personal account. In order to use them later,
please, preserve them in a sure place.

Sincerely, Dick Riddle

Attachment: the_Keys.zip

The ZIP files contains an EXE that looks like a Word document, The_Keys.doc[88 spaces].exe. Worryingly, VirusTotal detects nothing at all. The trojan is cleary related to this one and this one.

Monday, 3 November 2008

"Colorado Business Bank - Network Security and Monitoring"


These banks get more obscure all the time, but still carry the same sort of malicious payload.



Subject: Colorado Business Bank - Network Security and Monitoring
From: "Colorado Business Bank Account Service" alert@cobizbank.com

COLORADO BUSINESS BANK NOTICE:

Colorado Business Bank has registered our secure Web sites with VeriSign and use VeriSign Server IDs.
VeriSign Server IDs enable you to verify the authenticity of our secure Web site and to communicate with our Web site securely via SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption.

Proceed to customer service department>>

Sincerely, Everett Torres.
Copyright - Colorado Business Bank, a part of COBIZ BANK.



VirusTotal detections are the usual mixed bag. Most detections seem to be generic (e.g. W32/Packed_FSG.D, TR/Crypt.FSPM.Gen, Trojan.Win32.Packed.gen, TrojanDownloader:Win32/Suceret.gen!A)

Friday, 31 October 2008

Dating scams and 79.135.168.*

We've seen this type of dating scam several times before. No good will come of engaging "Chantel" in conversations as she doesn't really exist. It will be some fat sweaty Russian bloke probably.

Subject: hi from chantel

hello, I am pretty russian girl, bored tonight.
would you like to chat with me and see my pics?
if so then email me at echantel39@officialsup.com
This is hosted on 79.135.168.36 which has been fingered before for fraud. Allegedly, the netblock is registered to an outfit in the Lebanon:


inetnum: 79.135.168.0 - 79.135.168.255
netname: LB-NET
descr: Lebanon private dedicated service
country: LB
admin-c: MHB1111-RIPE
tech-c: MHB1111-RIPE
remarks: abuse mailbox: moh.b@lubnannetworks.biz
status: ASSIGNED PA "status:" definitions
mnt-by: SISTEM-NET-MNT
source: RIPE # Filtered

person: Mohamed Baga
address: Basha Garden bldg, 5th floor LB
address: Jisr El Bacha Main Road
address: Beirut - Lebanon
e-mail: moh.b@lubnannetworks.biz
remarks: abuse mailbox: moh.b@lubnannetworks.biz
phone: +961 1 512341
nic-hdl: MHB1111-RIPE
source: RIPE # Filtered

% Information related to '79.135.160.0/19AS44097'

route: 79.135.160.0/19
descr: Sistemnet Telecom
origin: AS44097
mnt-by: Sistem-Net-MNT
But just a few IP addresses away is another netblock that we have seen before in Turkey. The whole netblock is a complete sewer and is listed on the Spamhaus DROP List. There are 2000+ domains in this /24 block, but just for brevity I will list the ones on this server - avoid them all.

  • Abgol.com
  • Amnocx.com
  • Bestsup.com
  • Cahla.com
  • Cardrealc.com
  • Centralrd.com
  • Direktmal.com
  • Equipyard.com
  • Escitatop.com
  • Eupoc.com
  • Ezshl.com
  • Firstlam.com
  • Flasheon.com
  • Flhnation.com
  • Flhplanet.com
  • Flhsupplies.com
  • Freeldp.info
  • Gbizc.info
  • Gbladx.info
  • Gblhome.info
  • Gblwizard.info
  • Golbalhobby.com
  • Goldenttamil.com
  • Goldirecto.com
  • Goldpug.info
  • Golguia.com
  • Golmundo.com
  • Golottoclub.com
  • Golsitio.com
  • Goltierra.com
  • Gosfordw.com
  • Hlgag.com
  • Hollandlopflags.com
  • Hyperlam.com
  • Jenniferlop.com
  • Jflyik.com
  • Ldphome.info
  • Ldpwizard.info
  • Lgbidxx.info
  • Lopguide.com
  • Meinmal.com
  • Miniplushlop.com
  • Modhl.com
  • Morerd.com
  • Moresup.com
  • Nitgbx.info
  • Officialflh.com
  • Officialgbl.info
  • Officialldp.info
  • Officialshl.com
  • Officialsup.com
  • Oldpee.info
  • Onlineflh.com
  • Onlineshl.com
  • Onlinesup.com
  • Pacanimal.com
  • Planetflh.com
  • Planetsup.com
  • Rdplanet.com
  • Revaloplast.com
  • Shemalglobal.com
  • Shlcentral.com
  • Shlnation.com
  • Shlsupplies.com
  • Shlwizard.com
  • Solidgoldent.com
  • Soundevelop.com
  • Superldp.info
  • Superlop.com
  • Supplanet.com
  • Supwizard.com
  • Tapthelop.com
  • Theloppet.com
  • Upflyp.com
  • Uplea.com
  • Virtualldp.info
  • Virtualsup.com
  • Virtuellmal.com
  • Wildevelop.com
  • Wildpin.info
  • Worldpivot.info
  • Worldplayservices.info
  • Yourldp.info
  • Yourlopmen.com
  • Yourloprabbit.com
Namesevers are NS1.DROREAL.COM and NS2.DROREAL.COM, both on 79.135.168.36.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

"Apollo Business Services" / scam job offer


Spammers are stupid. This job offer scam combines two different offers, both of which are fraudulent. Part one is for "Apollo Business Services". Check out the very strange disclaimer on the bottom.




Subject: job offer for you. thanks
From: "Worldmarkettusew" worldmarkettusew@gmail.com

Apollo Business Services part-time opportunity (40/hr)
Dear ,

Apollo Business Services company was established in 2004 by an international team
of financial and marketing experts. We specialize in delivering positive business
results through solving currency exchange problem as well as online payments and
transactions, their tools being innovative solutions, high performance and e-commerce
optimization techniques.

We offer a "work at home" part-time position "Regional Manager". This includes
processing payments between our partners' clients and our company, ensure all personal
data relating to customers is maintained, accurate and kept discreet, identifying
opportunities to improve service delivery.

Position Type: Permanent.
Working hours: 9:00AM - 1:00PM weekdays. Variable overtime is also required.
Occupation Type: part-time (1-5 hours a day occupation).
Salary: $40 per hour.

Professional qualities and skills:

* Scrupulous and diligent;
* Computer literate;
* Good organizational and administrative skills;
* Payment procedures prior experience would be an asset;
* Ability to work independently.

Please REPLY to this e-mail to receive further information and application forms.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hughley,
HR Manager,
Apollo Business Services
You are receiving this employment opportunity email because you uploaded your resume on CareerBuilder. This email is used for hiring process only to prevent the company from spam messages.
If your employment status has changed or you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can update your privacy and communication preferences from your resume by logging onto CareerBuilder.com:
http://www.careerbuilder.com/jobseeker/emails/emailsubcenter.aspx

Or you can Block this employer from viewing your resume and sending you candidate emails.

This email was sent from Account ID ATXNC91MZIFSAQTSAC7 and by this logged in User U48VA7D999LFKCKNSYZ
DISCLAIMER
The content of this email has been reviewed and approved by CareerBuilder. This email is intended for the use of the individual address named above and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this email is not authorised and constitutes an irritating social faux pas.



Bizarrely, attached to this spam are five other attachments trying to punt a different scam:




Dear sir or madam,
My name is Jackie Simons, I am an Advertising Manager at SocMart (www.socmart.com.ua).
The company’s principal activity is investment in residential property of developing
countries.
Our chief objective is to attract foreign investors to the affobadle housing market
of Belorussia,
Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and etc. The housing prices are often high in these
countries and tend to
continuously increase, whereas the quality of the property remains rather low. As
far as we are eager to change the
situation, our company is now focused on attaraction of potential foreign investors
to the available property market
of the former CIS countries. Our three-year experience in the property investment
market has revealed an excessive number
of people willing to invest their funds into developing countries’ residential
property. However, we came across a problem
concerned with bureaucracy, as banking systems of the former CIS countries are
still undeveloped for prompt and effective
international bank transfer service. Lack of proper relations between Western and
Eastern banking systems dealing with
international bank transfer service does not allow us to process promptly our
foreign customers’ investments
(investments are to be on hold during 1-2 months). The fact that property prices are
continuously flactuating has made
it clear that efficiency in investment processing is our priority. Considering the
above we had to recourse to “investment managers”
to accelerate investment processing to the maximum extend. In case you got
interested with our proposal do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail:
worldmarkettusel@gmail.com



SocMart is a wholly legitimate Ukranian firm dealing in real estate who are NOT responsible for this spam. Whichever version of this you get, avoid it like the plague.

Added: the following email addresses are being use for this, and probably others:
worldmarkettusef@gmail.com
worldmarkettuse@gmail.com
worldmarkettusel@gmail.com
worldmarkettusew@gmail.com
worldmarkettusey@gmail.com

"Auction Sales Online" job scam

It isn't always clear what the scam is with these fake job offers, but it seems that fraudsters need to recruit a large number of patsies to run their operation. In fact, there is quite a large bogus career network going on here, with "employees" trades between various underground enterprises.



Subject: Working Part Time

Auction Sales Online is currently hiring for work at home positions,
in the United Kingdom, part-time and full-time available. The positions
focus on providing administrative assistance in online sales.

Auction Sales Online provides business support, retail distribution,
franchise operations, direct sales, and a variety of auction as well
as accounting and billing services.

Salary:

Part-time: 1,100GBP/month plus commission
Full-time: 2,200GBP/month plus commission

Professional Qualities:

- Customer focused decision maker
- Demonstrates a high level of personal accountability
- Thinks about the team first over personal agendas
- Excellent communication skills

Basic Requirements:

- Internet Access
- Microsoft Office
- Basic Accounting skills

If you are interested in this position please send us an email to
Tracy.Miller@aso-careers.com expressing your interest and we will
forward you the detailed job description and the agreement.

Best regards,
ASO Team





This particular job scam references the domain aso-careers.com which has been registered for this purpose. The WHOIS records are almost definitely fake, registered through BIZCN.COM, INC.:

Domain name: aso-careers.com

Registrant Contact:
Sam Lloyd
Sam Lloyd supportnewest@safe-mail.net
+1.8827729829 fax: +1.8827729829
81313 po box
New York NY 10016
us

Administrative Contact:
Sam Lloyd supportnewest@safe-mail.net
+1.8827729829 fax: +1.8827729829
81313 po box
New York NY 10016
us

Technical Contact:
Sam Lloyd supportnewest@safe-mail.net
+1.8827729829 fax: +1.8827729829
81313 po box
New York NY 10016
us

Billing Contact:
Sam Lloyd supportnewest@safe-mail.net
+1.8827729829 fax: +1.8827729829
81313 po box
New York NY 10016
us

DNS:
ns1.floodinger.com
ns2.floodinger.com

Created: 2008-10-27
Expires: 2009-10-27
floodinger.com is a new one, but the registration details are hidden. ns1.floodinger.com is 67.202.88.243 in the US and 21.214.23.151 which apparently belongs to the Department of Defense (!).

Mail is handled by 12.192.82.225 which we have seen twice before. The Silent Noise blog fingers that as part of the Asprox network. Asprox involvement is hardly news - it's an impressively large underground organisation (presumably with it's own underground lair).. although it is quite possible that Asprox facilities are being used on behalf of a client.

Anyway, avoid unsolicited job offers, and always ask for some real, verifiable contact details. In the UK you can check details at Companies House. For US companies, the state Division of Corporations should have company details, or you can perhaps check at the BBB.

Estdomains is not dead yet



Thanks to Sandi for bringing the not-so-good-news that Estdomains is not quite dead yet. For a moment it looked like ICANN had grown some cojones, but perhaps not.

Estdomains termination was based on the fact the their President, Vladimir Tsastsin, has been convicted of fraud in Estonia. However, Estdomains are attempting to wriggle out of this by saying that Tsastsin didn't do it and he resigned as president some time ago. Bearing in mind that an Estonia court said he DID do it (although he is appealing, but that could take for ever) and that the only proof offered by Estdomains that he resigned looks a bit unconvincing, then the whole excuse looks rather thin.

Of course, the reason why Estdomains should be terminated is their long-running association with organised crime, as documented here and here. Add to that the fact that the company deliberately conceals its identity by using a Delaware corporation as a front (when obviously "Est" is for Estonia), and it is clear that they should have been terminated a long, long time ago.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Persimmon Homes / Marks & Spencers Vouchers Hoax

There is currently a hoax email circulating similar to the following:

Thought this might be useful with Christmas coming up

Marks & Spencer, in conjunction with Persimmon Homes, are giving away free vouchers. Marks & Spencer's are trying word-of-mouth advertising to introduce its products and the reward you receive for advertising for them is free non-refundable vouchers to be used in any M & S store.

To receive your free vouchers by e-mail all you have to do is send this e-mail out to 8 people (for £100 of free vouchers) or 20 people (for £500 of free vouchers). Within 2 weeks you will receive an e-mail with your vouchers attached. They will contact you through your e-mail address.

NB. Please mark a copy to:
Andy.curran@persimmonshomes.com
As it happens, the domain name persimmonshomes.com is incorrect, it would be persimmonhomes.com. But no matter, Persimmon categorically deny that is is anything to do with them:

"Hoax E-mail"

A hoax e-mail is being circulated offering a promotion of free Marks and Spencer vouchers for forwarding the e-mail to colleagues and friends.

Neither Marks and Spencer or Persimmon Homes have made any such promotional offer.

Please delete the hoax e-mail and notify the people to whom you have sent it that it is a hoax.
It turns out that this hoax has been doing the rounds since 2007. There's also an interesting thread about it here.

You can also check out Dynamoo's Email Etiquette page for some advice on what is appropriate to forward and what isn't.

Estdomains is dead


Good riddance to bad rubbish - Estdomains has be de-accredited by ICANN, although it took long enough. If you're a registrar who wants to take on some of the most toxic domain names in the business, then ICANN invites you to apply for them.

More details here. Thanks to Spyware Sucks for the heads-up.

Alex Shafts, CEO / World Wide Domain Names Part II

Yesterday's "Alex Shafts" spam run is the most bizarre I have seen in a long time, and clearly has been quite widespread given the hundreds of visitors who have come to this blog.
  1. Spammer appears to have lost his home, so presumably is in financial trouble. That sucks, times are certainly hard for a lot of people.. often through no fault of their own.
  2. Spammer discovers affiliate marketing. Done right, this can make you a lot of money.. assuming that you do it right.
  3. Spammer decides that LunarPages web hosting affiliate program looks good.
  4. Spammer rents a server, a mailing list and writes some ad copy. I can quite believe that the spammer bought the mailing list in good faith - often scraped email addresses are mis-sold as opt-in addresses.
  5. Now things start to go awry - the spammer's email is not CAN-SPAM compliant. The subject line is deceptive (it is "Notice Regarding Your DOMAIN NAME", the spam is about hosting). There is no physical address on the email, and no opt-out mechanism.
  6. On the plus side, the spammer is not hiding his identity, and the spamvertised domain of worldswidedomainname.com has what appears to be vaguely valid contact details (although the house currently appears to be empty).
  7. Now for the REALLY stupid part - the spammer has set up a mailing list to distribute the spam, but there are no restrictions on who can send to it. So when some addresses start to auto-respond, those responses are then re-spammed out to everyone on the list. I have seen dozens of these, but I think that my spam filter has kept out a LOT more.
  8. Spammer's affiliate account, hosting and even Yahoo! email address gets nuked from orbit. Kudos to LunarPages and IX Web Hosting for their prompt action.
  9. Who knows what will happen next? A LOT of people are really angry about the email storm that this has generated. Some may even take legal action.
There's another interesting blog entry about this at Skillett.com which expands on the story some.

So here's the scorecard for this particular bit of affiliate marketing:

  • Keeping within the Terms of Service for your affiliate program: FAIL
  • Keeping within the Terms of Service for your web host: FAIL
  • Technical expertise: FAIL
  • Legal compliance: FAIL
  • Income generation: FAIL
  • OVERALL: FAIL
Now if only Ecommerce corporation could shut down the spam coming through 98.130.1.155 then everyone else would have a WIN. As of about 0500 GMT the darned stuff is still coming through..

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Alex Shafts, CEO / World Wide Domain Names / LunarPages spam

There's more to this spam than meets the eye.. and be certain that it IS spam and isn't any kind of communication from your domain name registrar:



Subject: Notice Regarding Your DOMAIN NAME
From: "Domain Name Support"
Date: Tue, October 28, 2008 5:16 am
To: info@worldswidedomainname.com


*****************************************
Important Notice Regarding Your Domain Name(s)
*****************************************

Dear Webmaster,

According to our records you are the ADMINISTRATIVE CONTACT.

We would like to inform you we have partnered up with LunarPages Web Hosting. We understand you are currently hosting with another provider. But we encourage you to try out LunarPages. LunarPages also has an affiliation program where you can embed banners on your website and earn $65 for every referral.

A little more information about LunarPages; Lunarpages Web Hosting was born from Add2Net in 2000, and has grown rapidly providing Shared Hosting, Dedicated, Reseller, and most recently, VPS Hosting Plans. LunarPages is BBB Accredited and is rated A for excellence. LunarPages also has received many Industry Awards including Web Host Magazines highest level of recommendation. LunarPages is one of the fewest hosting services that provide unlimited transfer and unlimited data storage.

LunarPages can fit your business needs whether you’re a small business or a large company. Join (or lurk about) Community Forums and ask our customers why they host with LunarPages. For more in depth information, news and articles about Web Hosting, Marketing, SEO, Traffic, AdWords, Design, Networking and General Fluff, visit Lunartics Blog (updated daily, sometimes hourly). Our BlogStars consist of a team of more than 20+ industry experts. You may learn something, or simply be entertained.

VISIT LUNARPAGES

If you’re not ready to give LunarPages “Web Hosting” a try just yet, TRY the affiliation program where you can earn hundreds or even thousands a month. Save this email for your records and click the link above for special promos throughout the year.

Best Regards,

Alex Shafts, CEO

World Wide Domain Names

If you are the domain administrator of more than one domain account, you may receive this notice multiple times.
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All rights reserved.



Who the heck is Alex Shafts? And who are "World Wide Domain Names"? Certainly nobody I do business with. So let's see who is sending this first of all. A look at the mail headers will be interesting:

X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.2.4 (2008-01-01) on blade2.cesmail.net
X-Spam-Level:
X-Spam-Status: hits=0.9 tests=HTML_MESSAGE,URIBL_RHS_DOB version=3.2.4
Received: from unknown (192.168.1.88)
by blade2.cesmail.net with QMQP; 28 Oct 2008 05:27:00 -0000
Received: from mail500.opentransfer.com (98.130.1.155)
by ********** with SMTP; 28 Oct 2008 05:27:04 -0000
Received: (qmail 624 invoked by uid 399); 28 Oct 2008 05:16:47 -0000
Mailing-List: contact info-help@worldswidedomainname.com; run by ezmlm
Precedence: bulk
X-No-Archive: yes
List-Post:
List-Help:
List-Unsubscribe:
List-Subscribe:
Delivered-To: mailing list info@worldswidedomainname.com
Received: (qmail 618 invoked by uid 399); 28 Oct 2008 05:16:47 -0000
X-Originating-IP: 68.230.241.45
Received-SPF: none (mail500.opentransfer.com: domain at worldswidedomainname.com does not designate permitted sender hosts)
identity=mailfrom; client-ip=68.230.241.45;
envelope-from=;
X-Authority-Analysis: v=1.0 c=1 a=J2IRbVyBMHeSdsxzcmgA:9
a=21DexejRGg20G2OFDxsA:7 a=V6NLHKsM1nmveCJf-9nhvT6W67oA:4 a=htsp1cwEuSoA:10
a=6-9Fr_h7AAAA:8 a=Vm2oXCpbAAAA:8 a=n4JkmEeXAAAA:8 a=W_LaJHSTY1FKiyaM68cA:9
a=aa2LJqmKak3HsCtWz3EA:7 a=2hL6MRTsiU3c-Xv2ucuIwzcZna0A:4 a=ojskhZjZVJUA:10
a=pM-imOxlMqoA:10 a=fd-QgsGfzTIA:10 a=AfD3MYMu9mQA:10
X-CM-Score: 0.00
Message-ID: <802858ce0ad3496e988f0c3c39bc0060@alex>
From: "Domain Name Support"
To:
Subject: Notice Regarding Your DOMAIN NAME
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 01:16:39 -0400
The originating IP address is 68.230.241.45 which is Cox Communications.. but we also have a domain name of worldswidedomainname.com. The WHOIS details for that domain match the sender's name:

Registrant:
Alex Shafts
504 LEONARD AV
Las Vegas, NV 89106
US

Domain name: WORLDSWIDEDOMAINNAME.COM

Administrative Contact:
Shafts, Alex worldsdomainnames@yahoo.com
504 LEONARD AV
Las Vegas, NV 89106
US
702.5431469
Technical Contact:
Shafts, Alex worldsdomainnames@yahoo.com
504 LEONARD AV
Las Vegas, NV 89106
US
702.5431469

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 24-Oct-2008.
Record expires on 25-Oct-2009.
Record created on 25-Oct-2008.
This domain is just a couple of days old which sets the alarm bells ringing. A Google search for "504 Leonard Av" comes up with a couple of YouTube videos [1, 2]. It turns out to be a foreclosure sale, OK that really sucks for Mr Shafts but it is no excuse to sent out spam.

So, what is this spam trying to get you to do? Is it important? Nope. It's actually just spam for the LunarPages affiliate program. Web hosting affiliate programs can be big earners - in this case LunarPages pay $65 per sign-up. Not bad, but all this email is trying to do is get you to sign up for web hosting. It is in no way an official notice from your registrar.

We know that desperate situations lead to desperate actions, but sending out spam and what is basically deceptive advertising is not going to help.

Added: just to prove himself a bigger idiot, the mailing list that he created to send out the spam ALSO accepts email from absolutely anyone so now there's a real shitstorm of comments, autoreplies and bouncebacks. What a plonker.

Added: check out the comments to this post, also this blog entry has more details. I have made a follow-up entry here explaining the problem in more detail.

Friday, 24 October 2008

"Ferrasano Ferrosan" scam email

Another scam job offer, this time it looks like money laundering. The email is perhaps unintentionally funny, and has a few new social engineering twists.

Subject: Internet Brings a Job Position that Changes Peoples Lives!
Err yeah, money laundering can lead to a prison sentence for the hapless money mule.
Greetings to Everyone in UK! You Have a Lifetime Opportunity to Start making up to 700 GBP per Week, Getting Paid Daily!
Wow.. *everyone* in the UK? That's some spam run.

Successful company from Norway - Ferrasano Ferrosan Group, Offers an Outstanding Job Position!
Googling for "Ferrasano Ferrosan" brought up exactly zero hits.. except for this post in a few minutes (probably).
This Is a Real Genuine Offer That You've Never Seen before, that Gives You Financial Freedom.
Of course, it isn't a "real genuine offer" at all. It's a scam.

Please Take Couple Minutes to Discover This Amazing Opportunity That Will Change Your Life.
But not change it is a GOOD way.

You Are Being Offered an Outstanding Job Position Called "Fund Operator"!
i.e. a money mule.
Here are Few Requirements Before You Apply:

1. This Offer is for United Kingdom/Great Britain Only.
2. You Have to Have 2-3 hours of spare Time Monday-Friday.
3. You Have to be Enthusiastic About It and Be Able to Provide Us With Best Service.
4. No Past Experience Required/ No School Degree Required!
5. Be Able to Check E-mail 4-5 Times a Day and Stay in Touch With us Throughout the Day if Possible!
6. You need to be gullible.
Company Itself is Based in Norway, although Ferrosan is a worldwide health center that Distributes Businesses All Over the World and We Represent
our Norway Location, Fairly Young, but Successful Organization. With the Help of
Google Advertisements it Was Possible to Deliver This Message to You! Nowadays Internet Makes it Possible for Us to Interact on a Whole New Level.
Ferrosan is a genuine company, but it is based in Denmark. It was founded in 1919. "Google Advertisements"? This must be the upcoming "Google Spam (beta)" then.

Full Information About Position Will be Given in Full Package that You Can Request by E-mail, See Below How to Request Full Package.
I'll give that a miss, thanks.

Some References about Position:

Jeff Sparks states in "In Touch Weekly" magazine: "..Great Britain discovers great
opportunity from FF Group.."

Linda Abramke states in "Forbes" magazine: "..Internet simplifies communication and provides more opportunities..", talking about our job position.

Melissa Richardson states in "Cosmopolitan" magazine: "..New opportunity for single moms or students..", talking about simplicity and reliability of position.
These are all completely fake, of course, it's just another piece of social engineering. Sometimes 419 fraudsters uses references on CNN or the BBC to try to add credibility.

You Will be able to Start Working with Us within 24 hours After You Apply and be
able to Start Making Money Immediately! Anybody can Do It, so Don't Hesitate
and Feel Free to Request Full Information, as It will Change Your Life, you will not
Have to Worry About Finances Anymore!
That "change your life" thing again...