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Government Spam United States IT

Spammers Using Shortened .gov URLs 75

Posted by timothy
from the just-write-to-pueblo-colorado dept.
hypnosec writes "Cyber-scammers have started using '1.usa.gov' links in their spam campaigns in a bid to fool gullible users into thinking that the links they see on a website or have received in their mail or newsletter are legitimate U.S. Government websites. Spammers have created these shortened URLs through a loophole in the URL shortening service provided by bit.ly. USA.gov and bit.ly have collaborated, enabling anyone to shorten a .gov or .mil URL into a 'trustworthy' 1.usa.gov URL. Further, according to an explanation provided by HowTo.gov, creating these usa.gov short URLs does not require a login." Which might not be a big deal, except that the service lets through URLs with embedded redirects, and it is to these redirected addresses that scammers are luring their victims.
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Spammers Using Shortened .gov URLs

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  • Re:2*WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dingen (958134) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @08:21AM (#41720965)

    A script called "LinkClick.aspx" which takes a url as argument and forwards the browser to that address. Seriously, what the hell? Do these people know ANYTHING about how the web works? I can't even begin to describe what a load of nonsense such a script is to begin with. How about, oh I don't know, an actual link? Or an HTTP redirect?

    Why the hell was "LinkClick.aspx" even created to begin with? Let alone why it's publicly available and accepts any url. This is so wrong, my head is about to explode.

  • Re:2*WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dingen (958134) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @08:30AM (#41720985)

    If it was my job to produce a list of all links, I would scan the site for all links. How about that?

    I really can't believe people who come up with stuff like this... I mean, a script with the ability to redirect to anything a user inputs, that just doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

  • by dingen (958134) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @08:39AM (#41721011)

    ... but a url which starts with "1.usa.gov" doesn't strike me as particularly trustworthy.

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