For the past two years up to March 2010, spammers have abused the Microsoft spaces.live.com free service to set up redirections to their spammed sites. Microsoft was chosen as the abuse victim for these reasons
- it is free, reducing the cost of the operation to the spammers
- live.spaces.com is such a large provider of web sites, that few URL blacklisting services would be likely to blacklist email containing links to it, in fear of creating many false positives
- Microsoft’s abuse reporting system is inadequate, and the company’s responsiveness is woeful
redirection URLs in spam would result in only the redirectors being blacklisted if at all. The redirection target sites effectively “fly under the radar” and are less visible for reporting and suspending by registrars.
- Microsoft is abundantly aware of the severity of this issue. The redirection URL lends itself to ready detection and suspension via an automated tool, given that it follows a fixed format, and redirects to an easily detectable, albeit growing, range of target sites.
Each spaces.live.com URL spammed provides a web page on Microsoft’s abused service that will redirect to one of a range of spam brands. Each brand represents an illegal web site that indulges in fraud and misrepresentation. It is strongly recommended that visitors do not provide their identity and credit card details on any of these sites. They are run by criminals who use stolen credit cards to order domain names for spamming, or to sell stolen identities within their own “carding” community.
Through spaces.live.com Microsoft supports
- software piracy – see EuroSoft
- Russian brides fraud – see http://ikillspammers.blogspot.com/2010/01/lady-marmelady-another-in-long-line-of.html
- unprotected pornography & bestiality
- llegal gambling casinos – see /wiki/index.php/Gambling_Casinos
- fraud pharmacies – see Canadian Rx Drugs and Canadian Pharmacy and Online Pharmacy and Discount Pharmacy and Canadian Health&Care Mall and Pharmacy
- Express and Acai Elite
- counterfeit replicas – see Vertu Replica Luxury Phones
- a Russian family tree genealogy scam – http://yoursurneim.ru