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Thursday 5 June 2014

dedicatedpool.com.. spam or Joe Job?

I received a number of spam emails mentioning a Bitcoin mining website dedicatedpool.com, subjects spotted are:

Subject: Bitcoins are around you - don't miss the train!
Subject: Dedicatedpool.com business proposal (Save up on taxes)
Subject: Make money with darkcoin and bitcoin now!
Body text:

Have you heard about bitcoins? I bet you did. Do you know how to make
money on it? Don.t worry, we are professionals in bitcoin and alternative
cryptocurrencies world and we will help you monetize your computing
hardware into bitcoins in no time. Come and joins us at
http://dedicatedpool.com and join our IRC chat at
Ryan, dedicatedpool.com support/admin


Don't want Government to steal your money?
Join us at http://dedicatedpool.com and learn how you can save up on
taxes by using bitcoin, darkcoin and other cryptocurrencies!
We will provide you with detailed instructions on how to set up all
hardware in your house and start keeping your money instead of paying
taxes. 100% legal!
Please register at http://dedicatedpool.com

Ryan, dedicatedpool.com support/admin


Do you have income but you don't want Obama to steal it from you? Come and
join us and turn your electricity cost into cash!
The only pool you can trust - come and mine bitcoins/altcoins with us. We
will provide you detailed guide on how to setup equipment in your house
that will turn electricity into bitcoins!
No taxes no problems: http://Dedicatedpool.com/
Ryan, dedicatedpool.com support/admin

However, the pattern of the spam looks like a Joe Job rather than some horribly misguided attempt to market the website. There are several signs that make it look like someone is trying to cause trouble for the site operators:
  1. The spam was sent repeatedly to a spamcop.net address, the type of address that would have a high probability of filing an abuse report. I call this a "reverse listwash".
  2. The spam mentions the established dedicatedpool.com website repeatedly (rather than using some sort of redirector) but the originating IPs appear to be from an illegal botnet (see note 1). The use of a botnet indicates a malicious intent.
  3. Spammers don't tend to include personal details of any sort in their messages, but the inclusion of "Ryan" (who does genuinely appear to be the administrator) seems suspicious.
 In my opinion, the balance of probabilities is that this is not sent out by dedicatedpool.com themselves, but is sent out by someone wanting to disrupt their business.

Note 1: I have seen the following IPs as originating the spam..

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