Posts Tagged: malwaredomainlist

Mar 16

Spammers Abusing Trust in US .Gov Domains

Spammers are abusing ill-configured U.S. dot-gov domains and link shorteners to promote spammy sites that are hidden behind short links ending in””.

shellgameSpam purveyors are taking advantage of so-called “open redirects” on several U.S. state Web sites to hide the true destination to which users will be taken if they click the link.  Open redirects are potentially dangerous because they let spammers abuse the reputation of the site hosting the redirect to get users to visit malicious or spammy sites without realizing it.

For example, South Dakota has an open redirect:

…which spammers are abusing to insert the name of their site at the end of the script. Here’ a link that uses this redirect to route you through and then on to But this same redirect could just as easily be altered to divert anyone clicking the link to a booby-trapped Web site that tries to foist malware.

The federal government’s stamp of approval comes into the picture when spammers take those open redirect links and use to shorten them.’s service automatically shortens any US dot-gov or dot-mil (military) site with a “” shortlink. That allows me to convert the redirect link to from the ungainly….

…into the far less ugly and perhaps even official-looking:

Helpfully, Uncle Sam makes available a list of all the links being clicked at this page. Keep an eye on that and you’re bound to see spammy links going by, as in this screen shot. One of the more recent examples I saw was this link — http:// 1.usa[dot]gov/1P8HfQJ# (please don’t visit this unless you know what you’re doing) — which was advertised via Skype instant message spam, and takes clickers to a fake TMZ story allegedly about “Gwen Stefani Sharing Blake Shelton’s Secret to Rapid Weight Loss.” Continue reading →

Jul 10

Services Let Malware Purveyors Check Their Web Reputation

Virus writers and botmasters increasingly are turning to new subscription services that test when and whether malicious links have been flagged by Web reputation programs like Google Safe Browsing and McAfee SiteAdvisor.

Nothing puts a crimp in the traffic to booby-trapped Web sites like being listed on multiple Internet reputation services that collect and publish information on the location of nasty Web sites. People who maintain the bad sites can stay ahead of such services by moving their malware to new domains once the present hosts start showing up on too many blacklists. But constantly checking these lists can be a time-consuming pain.

Enter sites like For a mere 20 cents, subscribers can check to see whether their malicious sites are flagged by any of 18 different blacklists, including Spamhaus, ZeuSTracker, SpamCop, SmartScreen (anti-malware and anti-phishing technology built into IE7/IE8), Norton Safe Web, Phishtank, Malwaredomainlist and MalwareURL.

As we can see from the screen shot here, this service acts as a kind of Virustotal for bad domains, listing the percentage of blacklists that detect any submitted malware sites.

The name and address of the person who registered is protected by a domain privacy service, but if we dig far enough back in the WHOIS history we see it was registered to someone named Oleg Lojko in Rogatin, Ukraine. A search for the e-mail address attached to that record turns up a domain ( that a couple of the malware blacklists have flagged for distributing the infamous Zeus Trojan, a powerful password-stealing strain of malicious software.

I wanted to test this service, and so I thought I’d pick on vinni-trinni, because that site was first flagged by Malwaredomainlist and MalwareURL back in March of this year. The results were underwhelming: As we can see from the above screen shot, this service detects that three out of 18 blacklists have flagged it as malicious, but the author’s own service fails to show listings by either Malwaredomainlist or MalwareURL.