1.usa.gov scams

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NotBuyingIt
Posts: 6563
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:21 pm

1.usa.gov scams

Post by NotBuyingIt » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:14 am

Cyber-scammers have started using the 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 US Government website. "

See: [url=http://paritynews.com/web-news/item/444-spammers-using-shortened-gov-urls t=_self]ParityNews.com[/url]


c۞g
Posts: 21225
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:02 am

RE: 1.usa.gov scams

Post by c۞g » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:04 am

https://go.usa.gov/
Go.USA.gov lets government employees create short .gov URLs from official government domains, such as .gov, .mil, .si.edu, .fed.us, or .state.xx.us URLs.
 
We are currently beta testing Go.USA.gov. Go.USA.gov registration is limited to people with .mil, .gov, .fed.us, .si.edu, and .state.xx.us e-mail addresses.


I created a short URL to this discussion:
http://bit.ly/Pl5OlI

If you simply replace bit.ly with 1.usa.gov the redirect fails (404 / page not found)
http://1.usa.gov/Pl5OlI

So I then created a URL which incorporates another .gov "forwarding service" as the [url=http://paritynews.com/web-news/item/444-spammers-using-shortened-gov-urls t=_self]article[/url] suggests:

Code: Select all

http://labor.vermont.gov/LinkClick.aspx?link=https://www.mywot.com/forum/28096-1-usa-gov-scams
The bit.ly URL becomes:

Code: Select all

http://bit.ly/TaqHPE
whether you load the bit.ly URL or replace bit.ly with 1.usa.gov such as:

Code: Select all

http://1.usa.gov/TaqHPE
both short URL's produce a warning page:

[url=http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/2839/caveat0emptor.png t=_blank][img]http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/2839/caveat0emptor.png[/img][/url]

however, if you click the link at the bottom of that warning screen where it states:
Continue at your own risk
http://labor.vermont.gov/LinkClick.aspx?link=https://www.mywot.com/forum/28096-1-usa-gov-scams
you will be directed to this discussion, that is until labor.vermont.gov discovers that the URL is not "official" (if they ever do).

Back in March 2011, [url=http://gov20.govfresh.com/usa-gov-adds-1-go-usa-gov-url-shortener-for-civilian-use/ t=_self]USA.gov adds 1.USA.gov URL shortener for civilian use[/url]
Today, USA.gov soft-launched a way for citizens to create shortened USA.gov URLs as well. Whenever someone uses Bit.ly (or any service that uses Bit.ly, like Tweetdeck or the Twitter app for iPhone) to shorten a .gov or .mil URL, the link will be converted to a short 1.USA.gov.

This information is current.
I took the URL:

Code: Select all

https://go.usa.gov/
fed it to bitly.com to create a short URL and bit.ly produced:
http://1.usa.gov/9SbJZ9

Now, as with any HTML link, I can simply create a fake 1.usa.gov short URL

Code: Select all

<a href="https://www.mywot.com/forum/28096-1-usa-gov-scams" target="_blank" title="this is official US Government redirect">http://1.usa.gov/12345</a>
[url=https://www.mywot.com/forum/28096-1-usa-gov-scams t=_blank]http://1.usa.gov/12345[/url]

NotBuyingIt
Posts: 6563
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:21 pm

RE: 1.usa.gov scams

Post by NotBuyingIt » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:15 pm

So, bit.ly now detects shortened versions of labor.vermont.gov/LinkClick.aspx as "being potentially problematic" (and they are), even should the final target resolve to an actual (American) government web page. E.g.,
http://1.usa.gov/PMvLKN


c۞g
Posts: 21225
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:02 am

RE: 1.usa.gov scams

Post by c۞g » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:41 am

<quote user="notbuyingit">
So, bit.ly now detects shortened versions of labor.vermont.gov/LinkClick.aspx as "being potentially problematic" (and they are)[/quote]
It appears so.
I am curious how many other state .GOV domains offer a redirect "LinkClick" service and if bit.ly detects them all or just the one exampled in the article you linked.

When I created my bit.ly short with the labor.vermont.gov redirect included, it displayed the destination just fine, as I'm certain it did for you, if there were a problem, I'm surprised bit.ly didn't throw up the warning screen during creation of the short URL.


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