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A Dispatch

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June 29, 2009

URL Shorteners in Spam

Some "business opportunity" spammer has been flooding the intertubes with brief messages that use just about every URL shortening service on the planet, including several I had never before heard. Here is a sample of the source code of one of them sent from a pwned PC in Brazil (identifying bits [removed] or xx'd):

Received: from 189-19-xx-xxx.dsl.telesp.net.br (189-19-xx-xxx.dsl.telesp.net.br [189.19.xx.xxx]) by dannyg.com ( id n5TEwPrW040161 for <[removed]@dannyg.com>; Mon, 29 Jun 2009 08:58:26 -0600 (MDT)
Message-ID: <4A48D688.1018475@{$FROMDOMAIN$}>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 14:58:16 GMT From: Stephanie <StephanieLoyd36@{$FROMDOMAIN$}>
User-Agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080213)
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: <[removed]@dannyg.com>
Subject: Online Jobs : The Next Goldrush?
Content-Type: text/plain
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-UIDL: 2&j!!~ai"!RaD!!)[8"!

Someone wants to share this news article with you:

User Comment:
im pretty motivated after seeing this..what do you think?

Source: The Business News

I've filed half a dozen abuse complaints to the URL shortening services in the last 12 hours in the hope that the offending URLs will be shut down quickly. Of the shortening service Terms of Service that I've read, none of them permit using their domains as spam destination halfway houses.

Note, by the way, how the botnet software fails to mail merge a bogus domain name into the Message-ID: and From: header field placeholders.

The shortened URLs lead to a domain that claims to be registered by someone in China and has been alive for about a week. Ah, if only China would shift its internet blockage infrastructure into reverse....

So, I guess I'll keep playing whack-a-mole until one of us gets bored. Hint:it won't be me.

Posted on June 29, 2009 at 08:30 AM