growl…

i’ve used a URI-shortening service – snurl.com – for several years, so that i can put a short URI into my “shipped out” emails, rather than having my customers have to figure out how to click a URI that is so long that it breaks when i send it in email. i’ve done this for at least five years, and i’ve even made a “custom” short-URI to help people remember what it’s for.

i shipped out an order today, and, as i usually do, i check to make sure my custom-shortened URI still works, and… it doesn’t! instead of going to the correct place, it now comes up with this annoying little error message that says “we delete snips used in spam.”

they’re accusing me of sending spam!

so, after investigating how to do URI-shortening on my own, and deciding that, at least for the moment, it’s more complex than i want to get into, i bought a new domain and redirected it to the long URI that used to be a snurl.com address. it’s kind of round-about, and definitely not the way i want to do things, but for the moment it works exactly the way i want it to.

however i’m still pissed off at snurl.com for accusing me of spamming.

I HATE SPAM!!!!

okay, so i got up this morning and switched on my computer, and the first email that i downloaded said this:

Dear member,<br><br>
Your payment for $149.95 USD to [email protected] has been initiated.
<br>This payment will be completed once the recipient has accepted the payment.
<br><br>It may take a few moments for this transaction to appear in the Recent
Activity <br>list on your Account Overview.
<br><br>-----------------------------------
<br>Payment Details
<br>-----------------------------------
<br><br>Amount: $149.95 USD
<br><br>Transaction ID: 7DK2739102238103H
<br>Subject: Payment for Samsung U740 Cellular Phone. Thank you!
<p class="subHeading">Do you confirm this transaction? </p>
<p>If this transaction was not made by you please, take the following steps:</p>
<ul>
<li>Login to your account by clicking on the link below </li>
<li>Provide requested information to ensure you are the owner of the account </li>
<li>Follow the steps to &apsCancel Transaction&aps</li>
</ul>
<br/><table bgcolor="#CCCC33" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td><table align="center" bgcolor="#FFFFCC" border="0" cellpadding="8" cellspacing="0"><tr><td class="large"><img alt="" border="0" src="https://images.paypal.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" /=>
<a href="http://onlinepprefund.altervista.org/" target=_blank><span class="emphasis">CANCEL TRANSACTION!</span></a><img alt="" border="0" src="https://images.paypal.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" /=></td></tr></table></td></tr></table>
<br/>
<br>Thank you for using PayPal!
<br>The PayPal Team

<br>----------------------------------------------------------------
<br>Copyright . 1999-20010 PayPal. All rights reserved.
<br><br>PayPal Email ID PP359

this was slightly different than most of the spam messages i receive, because the “From:” address appeared to be somewhat more legitimate than other “spam pretending to be from paypal” messages that i have received in the past – “PayPal” <[email protected]> – so THE FIRST THING I DID was check my paypal account. when i discovered (rather as i expected, actually) that i didn’t actually make a payment to paypal for $149.95 for a Samsung U740 Cellular Phone, i went into my morning anti-spam routine of investigating, reporting and blacklisting, but this one was interesting:

the URI encoded as “CANCEL TRANSACTION!” was very definitely NOT paypal – which is why it’s ALWAYS a good idea to render messages in plain text, rather than HTML, if you have the choice to do so (most POP email clients will do that for you automatically, although most IMAP – i.e. webmail – clients will not do it without some nefarious hacking) because if it were rendered as HTML, i might have just clicked on it, not realising that it was sending me to the wrong place. but it was also very interesting because it was also a “spoofed” address – instead of being “altAvista.org” it was “altERvista.org”, which means that if i weren’t paying very close attention (or if i didn’t have automated assistance) i might have assumed that the report should go to a place that it wasn’t really supposed to go. it turned out that it was supposed to go to “[email protected]” which is probably either a person who is absolutely clueless about their server state, or (more likely) a hacker/spammer who is looking for new suckers on which to prey.

when i looked at the header information, it said that it’s insertion point was wlen.net.pl, in poland, and the IP address reflected that,

Received: from [83.16.154.90] (helo=wlen.net.pl)
by spam1.thewebhostserver.com with esmtp (Exim 4.72)
(envelope-from )
id 1QBnQb-0004Ob-N9
for [email protected]om; Mon, 18 Apr 2011 13:20:01 +0100

but this bit of information jumped out at me:

X-HELO-Warning: Remote host 83.16.154.90 incorrectly presented itself as wlen.net.pl
X-Sender-Warning: wlen.net.pl has no MX records
X-Sender-Warning: Reverse DNS lookup failed for 83.16.154.90 (failed)

that is another indication that, very likely, the people who run wlen.net.pl have no clue that their server is being abused, so i sent a report to their host provider, and the place where the spam originated – [email protected] – and entered their IP address into my blacklist, which now means that if i EVER get another message that claims to be from 83.16.154.90, it will go directly into /dev/null without even alerting me to its presence.

much as i HATE spam, there are a few spam messages that i find a little more interesting than most, which is why i blog about them… in general, however, i feel that Rule #3 still applies, so i’ll shut up about the HATE now…

another week closer to the eschaton…

Look at that, you son of a bitch!

Texas GOP Rep. Introduces Sharia Ban Because He Heard Sharia Is A Threat On The Radio, Asks ‘Isn’t That True?’ and The Anti-Choice Movement: "Not Intended to Be Factual" – these people are your ELECTED representatives, and they are in charge of making our laws… and what they say is “not intended to be factual”?!?

Santorum To Beck: States Should Be Allowed To Criminalize Gay Sex – this fool wants to be president… he is only encouraging people to make fun of him. i say don’t disappoint him.

I Just Paid More Taxes Than Most of Corporate America – and america wonders why it’s in the middle of a financial catastrophe…

During Bush Presidency, Current GOP Leaders Voted 19 Times To Increase Debt Limit By $4 Trillion – but now that we have a democratic president, all bets are off.

Nuclear Nightmare Getting Worse, Yet Propaganda Continues – 😮

TSA Says ‘You Might Be A Terrorist If… You Complain About The TSA’ – that way, when they bust you for complaining about them, they can claim that they’ve busted another terrorist and everybody will be impressed with their prowess… 😐

TSA lied about promise not to grope children – instead of catching real terrorists, the gummint is trying to justify feeling up little girls… do we really want these people in charge of where we travel?

Ohio funeral home can’t liquefy bodies – in spite of the fact it’s safer and more efficient than burial or cremation, and the fact that there is no law prohibiting it, the “health department” has directed local officials not to issue permits required for disposing of bodies or accept death certificates when it is apparent that the bodies are going to be liquified… people keep wondering why the environment is going down the tubes… here’s a hint, people: IT’S BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU!! 😐

Obama moves forward with Internet ID plan – oh boy, another way to “keep us safe” from predators on the internet…

US and Russia Fighting Destruction of Smallpox Virus Samples – it’s unethical and hypocritical for the united states to accuse other people of making weapons of mass destruction when the united states is behind the production of weapons of mass destruction. hasn’t anybody else noticed this?

Glenn Beck Suggests Only ‘Hookers’ Depend On Planned Parenthood – 😮

When Politicians Joke About Medical Cannabis, They’re Laughing at AIDS and Cancer Patients – ha, ha… 😐

Utah Republicretins Cut Unemployment Insurance As ‘Motivation For People To Get Back To Work’ – this “lazy, drug-addicted hobo” has something to say about your “motivation”…

The United States Has Mexico….and Sweden Has Us – WalMart is next…

Chicago school bans homemade lunches, the latest in national food fight – so instead of going after real terrorists, they have decided to crack down on home-made lunches illegal at chicago’s public schools… they’ve made exceptions for kids with food alergies, but what if the kid’s a vegetarian? or one of those freaky religions that doesn’t eat pork?

Is Sugar Toxic? – yes. next question?

Breathing More Profit into Chocolate Bars – as little as everyone else seems to care about this sort of thing, when they start messing with my chocolate, they’re pushing me over the line, and i’ve got to respond…

Hey Facebook: What’s SO wrong about a pic of two men kissing? – yet another reason why i am not a member of facebook… 😐

GE Returns Billions to Public… NOT – they took a big stock hit, before the hoax was revealed… i guess paying back doesn’t pay after all… 😐

this is not a joke: PETA Brand Steak Sauce

this is a joke… a big, fat, steaming pile of joke: Obama Orders Guantánamo Prisoners Transferred To Next President – now i feel like i ought to go wash my hands…