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my url shortener website is spamvertised, what to do?


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We are running url shortening service (similar to bit.ly and others) which is quite popular and used by many people. We are not redirecting immediately, our user has to click a button to go to the link. He can see where it goes before he clicks.

But spammers are using our service too. Our ISP is threatening us that our links were found in spam. But for us there is no way to know if link is ok.

What can we do? Is there any way to check these urls before they are spamvertised (we use malware check already for all shortened links)? Can we ask spamcop not to send us their warnings?

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We are running url shortening service (similar to bit.ly and others) which is quite popular and used by many people. We are not redirecting immediately, our user has to click a button to go to the link. He can see where it goes before he clicks.

But spammers are using our service too. Our ISP is threatening us that our links were found in spam. But for us there is no way to know if link is ok.

What can we do? Is there any way to check these urls before they are spamvertised (we use malware check already for all shortened links)? Can we ask spamcop not to send us their warnings?

The short answer to your last question is 'yes' but I don't see how that would help. It is the warnings being sent to your ISP that are the problem, if I've read your post right. Only they can ask spamcop not to notify them. FWIW, spamvertised sites are only informed as a courtesy because there is nothing that say Pfizer can do to stop pill-forgers using their name and their domain. Spamvertised sites are not part of the blocklist, spamcop is clever enough to track down the IP of the injection point of the spam and that is what appears on the blocklist. I think your ISP is worrying unnecessarily.

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Agree with Derek - though the prospect of you successfully advising your provider to get a clue would not seem to be very hopeful.

You might stay off more SC reports if you declined URIs that are listed in the SURBL - particularly the multi.surbl.org list - but it is pretty well impossible to say in advance, so much depends on the pattern/tactics of spammer usage and timing. Even the multi list fails to pick up all that are the subject of web site reports in progress (and those shown are probably only a fraction of those under report at any given time).

Detecting spamvertized sites is not the principal SC activity - many reporters use Quick Reporting which does not process the body of the spam they receive at all. It may be that your provider is receiving complaints from other sources as well. Even so, trying filtering through the SURBL and/or other lists has a similar chance of making a difference I suppose. Certainly doing a DNS resolution check against such a list should be far quicker and more reliable than most malware scans of the webpages, I would think.

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>- But spammers are using our service too.

Unfortunately, you have now become a spam support service. Against your will, but the fact remains.

You can take part in the fight against spam by using our reports to immediately disable the redirector link so that the spammer can not get visitors to his web site where he can get their money.

Hopefully, after you interfere with the spammers for a while, maybe they will stop abusing your service.

- Don D'Minion - SpamCop Admin -

- service[at]admin.spamcop.net -

.

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