Spam mystery solved!

By Felix Salmon
August 4, 2009
I asked; Spamhaus has answered.

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I asked; Spamhaus has answered.

The purpose of the spam is to trick recipients into responding to answer the questions. The questions and their responses are actually a system of gathering data to compile a series of “Answer your questions” websites run by “X Media Partners” which generate revenue from Google adverts placed alongside the answers…

The main person behind this spam operation appears to be a Canadian named “Doug Collins” who also goes as “Ryan Collins” and “Amanda Collins”, of 30 Gooderham Dr., Georgetown, ON L7G5R6, CA.

When Spamhaus investigated these ‘random question’ spams, we found that in each case the identical questions were used by the websites above and the answers sent back by recipients who had fallen for the spams were also on these same websites. To verify this, Spamhaus answered one spam from “winstonfinancial@gmail.com” which asked “How to pack teenagers for europe?”. Our answer, word-for-word including intentional mispellings appeared as if by magic a few minutes later on the website www.goftp.com.

Clever! I wonder whether “Doug Collins” will suffer at all for this. Somehow I doubt it.

2 comments

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These guys are also using Twitter. One of them started following me on the service, and when I looked at his twitter stream, (which was for some type of plumbing website), it had those exact random questions and answers. Obviously they are using social networking as well as spam to broaden the extent of their fake website operation.

Posted by HB | Report as abusive

Skype is a channel too, and it was even (poorly) translated into my obscure little language.