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Fake URL-Shortening Services Bring Uptick in Spam

wiredmikey (1824622) writes | more than 3 years ago

Spam 0

wiredmikey (1824622) writes "A report released today by MessageLabs, revealed a new trend in spammers establishing their own fake URL-shortening services to perform URL redirection. This month's 2.9 percentage point increase in spam is mainly attributed to this new spamming activity, a rise that was expected following the Rustock botnet takedown in March.

How do spammers use fake URL-shortening services? Shortened links created by spammers on the fake URL-shortening sites actually aren’t typically included directly in spam messages. Instead, the spam emails contain shortened URLs created on legitimate URL-shortening sites. These shortened URLs lead to a shortened-URL on the spammer's fake URL-shortening Web site, which in turn redirects to the spammer's own Web site.

The report notes that many new domains were registered several months before they were used, potentially as a means to evade detection by legitimate URL-shortening services since the age of the domain may be used as an indicator of legitimacy making it more difficult for the genuine shortening services to identify potential abuse."

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