Blog for hpHosts, and whatever else I feel like writing about ....

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Full Circle Magazine: Issue 33

Issue 33 is out: creating a media center, education, and sync

A new month (well, in two days) and a new magazine issue is out.
This month, we’ve got:

- Command and Conquer.
- How-To : Program in Python – Part 7, Create A Media Center with a Revo, Ubuntu and Boxee, and The Perfect Server – Part 3.
- My Story – Ubuntu in Public Education, and Why I Use Linux.
- Review – Exaile.
- MOTU Interview – Didier Roche.
- Top 5 – Synchronization Clients.
- Ubuntu Women, Ubuntu Games and all the usual goodness!

Read more

Get it while it's hot!

Issues 0 - Current



Spambot Search Tool: v0.43

* Fixed bug when SBST run on Windows Server systems (doesn't seem to like some of the error handling)
* Fixed Colours for new manual submission ;o)


As if by magic .....

... awww, did my last post annoy someone? T'would seem so, as I noticed the following new user registration whilst going through the new account;

Recognize the IP range? (same IP as the Craigslist fraud rubbish, and same range as Blackhatworld - both mentioned in the previous post).

Friday, 29 January 2010

Craigs List: Allow me to beat you over the head (softly of course)

I received an e-mail around 30 mins or so ago, pointing me to The individual that reported it had been called by someone referencing this site, claiming to be an employee of Craigs List.

I did a little digging and yep, it's a phishing scam. I decided to call Craigs List to inform them of the site, and the additional stuffage I found - a decision I was about to regret. Calling the US from the UK isn't cheap, so Craigs List leaving me on hold to wait for an operator, for 25 mins, to then be told AFTER the 25 mins, and AFTER the damn automated voice told me I was "now first in the queue", that there were no CS reps available and to leave a message, has me more than a little annoyed with them.

Dear Craigs List, if you're going to provide a phone number, and going to tell people they're in queue - don't then proceed to tell them there's no-one available, that just annoys the hell out of us. Tell me as soon as the damn automated service answers, and I'll be happy with that, I understand sometimes call centers/offices get extremely "busy" (I've had my share of having to try getting through to BT ;o)). I'd ask why these companies don't just hire more staff if they can't deal with the call volume, but we know the answer to that so lets not bother.

Anywho, the site in question,, resides at (AS46664 VOLUMEDRIVE - VolumeDrive). Looking at it's DNS servers showed quite an interesting little relationship. The sites WhoIs is privacy protected, but the DNS servers WhoIs isn't. The DNS servers domain, resides at the same IP and is owned by;

Melissa Walker
P.O, Box 122
La Crosse, Kansas 67548
United States
+785 623-8544

If we do a little digging on this one, we see not only are they running a "work from home" scam;

But more interestingly, there's also a tie to (amongst others), which resides on the same /24 (, and which is known for everything from fraud to malware and everything else inbetween.

I'm working on gathering a list of domains owned by "Melissa Walker" (pretty confident the WhoIs details are faked), and will post those as soon as I have gathered them. In the meantime, I'd suggest blocking this entire /24 as I'm not seeing any legit domains residing there.

If you have received an e-mail, or received a phone call, offering anything to do with work from home rubbish, or from someone claiming to be from Craigs List (or any other company), HANG UP!. DO NOT engage them, DO NOT reply to them, and NEVER give them any credit card etc details (doing so opens you up to the risk of identity theft), and if they're claiming to be calling on behalf of Microsoft, Malwarebytes or any other IT/security company, DO NOT give them remote access to your computer (neither Microsoft, Malwarebytes nor any other legit company I'm aware of, will cold-call you).

If someone is calling or e-mailing, claiming to be from a company you are used to dealing with, ask for their name, then hang up and call the company using the number you usually use to deal with them (and this especially goes for those times when they're claiming to be from your bank etc).

Remember: Legit companies should NEVER call you unless YOU have asked them to (i.e. they're returning your call), and even then - always treat them with the utmost suspicion.

Side note: The same content that's at was also previously at (Cached on Jan 15th 2010, but this site whilst still registered, currently does not resolve)

Pinball Publisher Network: The ghost of Zango toolbar has a Facebook fan page

Here’s something they don’t teach in marketing 101: If you’re pushing software that no one wants -- like, say, annoying adware -- and your downloads are going nowhere, what do you do?

Answer: you push somebody else’s popular software AND BUNDLE YOUR CRAP WITH IT!

Remember Zango? It was that irritating adware company that spent years and a million weasel words trying to make its operation seem legitimate. It was fined $3 million in 2006 by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and it unsuccessfully sued anti-virus vendor Kaspersky in Federal Court in 2007 for calling the Zango malcode “malcode?” After several years of sagging revenue amidst a larger collapse of the adware industry, the company finally folded and sold its assets at fire sale prices last April. (Sunbelt Blog story here. )

The buyer, Pinball Publisher Network, is still distributing Zango and sadly enough it still offers users nothing of any value, which is why PPN offers Open Office, 7-Zip and Firefox bundled with it. PPN and its affiliates are simply trying to piggyback on those programs and in the process, leech from their value and good name.

Read more

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Info: hpHosts server downtime

Just a note folks, I'm beginning the conversion of the hpHosts databases as I write this, so the hpHosts website will be down for the next few hours whilst the conversion takes place.

Monday, 25 January 2010

vURL Online: Now back online

I've just gotten back folks, and am happy to announce, vURL has now been fully converted to MySQL, and is now back online.

Please let me know if you notice any problems.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Great 99 Cent Software Experiment of 2010

I’m curious and thinking a crazy single day experiment could be fun and may be worth the risk. So what the hell. If you want to upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS on January 29th, I’ll give you a lifetime WinPatrol membership for less than a dollar. Instead of the regular price of $29.95 I’ll provide a coupon on that brings the price down to $0.99 USD. That comes out to approx. .70 € to our international friends

This will be a one-day only “experiment” starting at midnight EST on Jan 29th and will last 24 hours. Will over 30 times the normal number customers upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS? If so, will other software developers notice?

Like our current $30 plan, the 99¢ license will be good for life. Like sales in the App Store or Droid Market however, this license is only valid for a single computer. Coupons are also limited to one per customer. Sound fair enough? If you’ve been someday planning on upgrading to WinPatrol PLUS, January 29th is the day to remember. Just go to this Friday and you may be a part of history

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Enigma Software Group: So much for "building relationships"

I'll not go into the ESG/SpyHunter history, you can read about that elsewhere. Suffice to say, after discussions with Enigma Software Group, and changes they made, I removed them from hpHosts back in 2008;

So you'll forgive me for being surprised to receive an e-mail from their lawyer, threatening to sue me. I did however, find it funny that a lawyer working in the security field, would've sent an e-mail with a PDF attached, and the content of the e-mail being simply;

Dear Sir

Please see attached letter.

Yours faithfully

Dominic Bray

Needless to say, this is hillarious. There are millions of e-mails floating round with malicious PDF's attached, and simple sentences such as the above. At first I thought it was a spear campaign, given my name was in the subject line, but alas nope - it was to be far from funny.

ESG's and their lawyer have demanded that I do the following by Tuesday, else they're taking me to court;

1. Remove the reference to SpyHunter from the FSA description (this is the *only* thing I did wrong - I forgot about it's being there when I delisted them, plain and simple, and I removed them when I got the e-mail, all ESG had to do was drop me an e-mail)

2. Remove the following 3 sites, which they're now claiming are theirs;

FYI, these DO NOT make any mention of their being owned by ESG, they're affiliate sites, or were last time I spoke to Alvin. Aside from this, they're listed because they fail to clearly mention the user has to pay for whatever the program finds, and fail to mention the relationship to ESG - both of these are misleading and covered under the FSA classification

As I told them, I would've included these sites regardless of the product they're peddling, due to the methods in which they're doing such.

3. Send them an apology worded as;

"I accept that Enigma Software Group's product, SpyHunter, is not a rogue, bogus or fraudulent application, and should not be classified as one.

I regret that I have previously criticised Enigma Software Group and that I made a number of incorrect statements about them and their products. Many of these statements were inaccurate and portrayed Enigma Software Group in a particularly unfair light, for which I apologise."

And yep, they worded that for me, how nice. However, I've not said ESG/SpyHunter are rogue/malicious since prior to their removal in 2008, indeed I stated both on my site and my blog that they were no longer considered such, and clarified that after hearing from a Mr Criswell earlier this year.

I am happy to apologise for forgetting to remove the word SpyHunter from the FSA classification description, but I'm not going to apologise for something I've not said or done.

4. To post said apology on the hpHosts website (or at least, I'm assuming it's the hpHosts site they want it on, they never specified which of my sites they wanted it on)

5. To post an apology to each one of the following;


Here's the problem with this one - I've not rated anything on SiteAdvisor for aslong as I can remember, and I've certainly not rated anything to do with ESG/SH on SiteAdvisor. I'm guessing the comments they believe I posted, are those that have been posted by other people, and happen to reference hpHosts. Sorry ESG, I'm not going to be held liable for something OTHER PEOPLE have posted.

6. "Not to make any statement, whether written, oral or otherwise, which is defamatory of or represents a malicious falsehood about ESG"

Again, I've done no such thing.

7. "Not to allege in any way that the current version of ESG's SpyHunter software is "rogue" or "malware" or any other kind of harmful software"

And again, I've done no such thing.

8. "Within 14 days of notification of the amount, to provide my proposals for paying ESG its legal costs incurred in relation to this matter"

Err, I guess ESG have forgotten hpHosts is a non-profit "hobby" site, and as such, doesn't make any money. Not sure what they're expecting me to pay them with.

9. "To provide, by Friday 29 January 2010, my proposals for compensating ESG for damage caused to it as a result of the defamatory allegations and malicious falsehoods published on the Website; and"

And again, hpHosts !=making money.

10. "To agree to incorporate the above in a court order if so required by ESG."

Needless to say, the only thing I've done wrong here, is forgetting to remove a single word from the FSA description - that's it. I've not said ESG/SH are rogue, I've not said they're malicious, I've not posted anything claiming they're rogue/malicious to SiteAdvisor, or anywhere else for that matter.

Alas it seems ESG have decided they don't want to build relationships within the security community, they just want to sue everyone instead. Guess we know who their nex target is going to be. I am wondering why they've chosen to threaten to sue me however, given I found alot of sites where people *have* called them rogue/malicious within the past 1-6 months! (i.e. not 2 years ago!).

Thursday, 21 January 2010

SEVAHOST-AS Seva-Host Ltd (AS49313) and SMS Fraud

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 is a bogus ad network

We've seen a number of ads being punted through to legitimate ad networks, but it appears that these are leading to a PDF Exploit (don't visit these sites, obviously!).

For example:


Read more

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Yet another phishing campaign: + Netelligent + +

I received a rather surprising e-mail earlier. Surprising because it was sent to an e-mail address I used specifically for registering on the website a few years ago, and not an address I'd published anywhere (and nope, I'd not given them permission to give it to anyone else).

This particular e-mail is shown to the left, but in short, advertises, which leads to and (SSL certificate for is provided by GoDaddy). These sites are all not surprisingly, involved in fraud.

The people and sites responsible for this are; (lives at, AS18403
FPT-AS-AP FPT Telecom Company 66-68 Vo Van Tan Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam) (lives at, FastHosts)

Name Server:
Name Server:
Creation Date: 2010.01.17
Updated Date: 2010.01.17
Expiration Date: 2011.01.17


Registrant ID: RNCV48A-RU
Registrant Name: Kevin Stubbs
Registrant Organization: Kevin Stubbs
Registrant Street1: 23 Bringston Rd
Registrant City: Lancers
Registrant State: Cheshire
Registrant Postal Code: SM2 7LS
Registrant Country: GB

Administrative, Technical Contact
Contact ID: RNCV48A-RU
Contact Name: Kevin Stubbs
Contact Organization: Kevin Stubbs
Contact Street1: 23 Bringston Rd
Contact City: Lancers
Contact State: Cheshire
Contact Postal Code: SM2 7LS
Contact Country: GB
Contact Phone: +44 645 8393820
Contact E-mail:

Registrar: ANO Regional Network Information Center dba RU-CENTER

Oh and yes, the WhoIs details are fake (for starters, 0645 isn't a valid UK dialing code, it was changed to 0845 years ago)

Name Server:
Name Server:
Creation Date: 2010.01.03
Updated Date: 2010.01.04
Expiration Date: 2011.01.03


Registrant ID: LXHHBQO-RU
Registrant Name: Laurie Harford
Registrant Organization: Laurie Harford
Registrant Street1: 72 Sunshine Rd
Registrant City: Torquay
Registrant Postal Code: TQ2 6AM
Registrant Country: GB

Administrative, Technical Contact
Contact Name: Laurie Harford
Contact Organization: Laurie Harford
Contact Street1: 72 Sunshine Rd
Contact City: Torquay
Contact Postal Code: TQ2 6AM
Contact Country: GB
Contact Phone: +44 7976776382
Contact E-mail:

Registrar: ANO Regional Network Information Center dba RU-CENTER

The phone number listed here is valid, and belongs to an Orange Telecom customer (I'd have called it if it weren't 04:00).

A lovely little list of domains they are also the owners of are;

These are all hosted at And who owns this IP? Why, our old friends Netelligent of course.

Other connected domains include; (AS14280 NETNATION Communications Inc.) (AS32613
IWEB-AS iWeb Technologies Inc.) (AS15418
FASTHOSTS-INTERNET Fasthosts Internet Ltd. Gloucester, UK.)

What's funny of course, is Netelligent recently wanted to convince us they were simply victims, and they'd killed off the criminals on their network. Wonder how they're going to explain this one huh? Especially given the history of the particular /24 in question (previously used by US based XLMarketing, who weren't exactly known for legit marketing methods)

/update 14:28 20-01-2010

I called the mobile number for, and not surprisingly, the number no longer exists.

Lunarpages followup

Remember this folks?

Well, I've been seeing more and more sites across LP IP ranges, containing malicious code, and since I'd not heard back from them concerning the sites listed in the above, I decided to go through those previously mentioned back in August last year, to see which are still carrying malicious code. Thankfully, not many have, with most either being cleaned, closed or cleaned and moved elsewhere.

The following are those still carrying malicious code; ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (

The following have all been cleaned, closed down, or cleaned and moved elsewhere;

I've already e-mailed Lunarpages yet again, to see if they're ready to do something about those still affected, and have also mentioned the new ones I've come across (more on that later).

Saturday, 16 January 2010 down

Seems is down at present folks. No idea why, it's resolving just fine, but the server is refusing the connection (checked via several different sources).


It's back folks :o)

Crimeware friendly ISP's: AS8206 JUNIK-RIGA-LV JUNIKNET Autonomous System JUNIK ISP Network Riga, Latvia

And in todays firing line, competing with the rest for the title of worlds most crimeware friendly ISP, we have AS8206, Latvian based ISP, Junik-Riga-LV.

Junik is being listed for 2 very specific reasons, they're providing connectivity for;

AS29106 VolgaHost-as PE Bondarenko Dmitriy Vladimirovich
AS49314 NEVAL PE Nevedomskiy Alexey Alexeevich

Oh dear, this isn't going to end well is it?

Neval has been home to a plethora of malicious content over the years, and like a few others, I've not yet seen a single legit domain hosted over there. Criminals they DO however host include the miscreants responsible for the YES exploit pack who are housed at (

Not exactly hiding what they're offering are they? (hat tip to SysAdMini for the heads up)

Then of course, there's the usual selection of rogues such as, which is housed at, or this piece of malicious goodness (sadly, only one vendor is detecting this at the time of writing this), which is housed at which was living on and has now moved to another criminal network, (AS24826 KHARKOV-TERMINALS-AS PE Viktor Nastechenko, see here).

Indeed, I'll tell you what, just pick ANY domain within the Neval network, and you'll find it's involved in malicious activity of one description or another.

And then we get to VolgaHost, which is yet another network whose connectivity is provided by Junik, that doesn't contain a single legit domain. Every single one is involved in either exploits or malware of one description or another (ZeUs and Fragus exploits primarily). For example;

One can't help wondering why Junik are allowing this to continue, especially given neither VolgaHost nor Neval are exactly trying to hide it. Well Junik - care to explain yourselves?

Until they do bother to boot these criminals, I'd personally recommend everyone blackhole their ranges. Sadly, this seems to be the only way these ISP's are going to learn.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Dear PayPal: What the heck are you smoking?

With the blackhat SEO campaigns taking advantage of Haiti to infect people and rip them all of, you'd have thought PayPal would've had a little forethought before sending this out.

I must ask PayPal, what the heck were you thinking when the thought "Ooooh, lets send an EMAIL to our members, in HTML of course, to ask them for MONEY!".

Anyone ever tell you about phishing scams and the like?

Your sending this e-mail out is beyond belief. If you're going to ask your members for money, for christs sake, at least do it responsibly.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Immediate hpHosts server downtime

Just a note folks, the hpHosts server is making some very strange noises (typical, get 2 servers re-built and another decides it wants to be a problem), and doesn't sound too well, so I'm going to take it offline with immediate effect, to take a look and see what the problem is.

I'm not expecting the downtime to be more than 30-45 mins or so.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

hpHOSTS - UPDATED January 12th, 2010

hpHOSTS - UPDATED January 12th, 2010

The hpHOSTS Hosts file has been updated. There is now a total of 118,743 listed hostsnames.

If you are NOT using the installer, please read the included Readme.txt file for installation instructions. Enjoy! :)
  1. Latest Updated: 12/01/2010 18:00
  2. Last Verified: 11/01/2010 12:00

Download hpHosts now!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Riccom Ltd: Where'd they go?

I thought you guys would be interested in the latest validation results, which shows where quite a few prior Riccom customers have now gone over to. Note: the results do not include PTR details (only did a quick validation as I'm busy with work and hpHosts at present).

The shortlist of ISP's they've moved to are;

1. AS29073 Ecatel (no surprise there)
2. AS29073 Ecatel (no surprise there)
3. AS17431 TONET Beijing TONEK Information Technology Development Company (Previously: AS17620 CNCGROUP-BJ CNCGROUP IP network of Beijing region MAN network)
4. AS39369 PORT80 AB, Sweden Rix Telecom AB, Sweden
5. AS24826 KHARKOV-TERMINALS-AS PE Viktor Nastechenko
6. AS29550 EUROCONNEX-AS Blueconnex Networks Ltd Formally Euroconnex Networks
7. AS16265 LeaseWeb AS Amsterdam, Netherlands
8. AS28753 NETDIRECT AS NETDIRECT Frankfurt, DE (surprise surprise)
9. AS8551 BEZEQ-INTERNATIONAL-AS Bezeqint Internet Backbone
10. AS21844 THEPLANET-AS2 Internet Services, Inc.
11. AS29550 EUROCONNEX-AS Blueconnex Networks Ltd Formally Euroconnex Networks
12. AS32181 ASN-CQ-GIGENET ColoQuest/GigeNet ASN (Customer Route [BODHOST])
13. AS5577 ROOT eSolutions (nope, I'm not surprised either)

There's a handful presently not resolving, but more interestingly, quite a few still resolving to (the still non-routed) Riccom range.

HostExploit: Top Bad Hosts

HostExploit has provided a facility that now allows you to see which of the ISP's currently online, are within their list of the worlds worst. Names you'll currently see include Velcom, Netelligent, ZHM, NetDirect, Neval etc etc etc.

Take a peek, and pop over to their new SiteVet (well, new to me anyway) site, which provides extensive details (some details only provided if you pay a fee apparently) on the hosts in question.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Crimeware friendly ISP's: RETN-AS (AS9002)

You may be asking yourself, why are RETN-AS being listed as crimeware friendly? Well, to keep this short and simple, I'll tell you - NET-UA-AS limited corp (AS40965 and SOFTNET (AS50073 SOFTNET Software Service Prague s.r.o.).

The SOFTNET range was first seen in November 2009, and ever since then, has served nothing but exploits, rogues, and other malicious goodness. As an example;

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Fancy an example of the malicious goodness on the NET-UA-AS range? Ah, go on then;

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We're not done however, NET-UA-AS also have ties to other well known malicious networks, such as;

AS24826 KHARKOV-TERMINALS-AS PE Viktor Nastechenko (,

Who house (amongst others) this lovely lot;

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Both of these networks are dedicated to malicious activity from what I've seen.

Anyone else seeing a pattern here? It's begging the question of why RETN aren't putting a stop to this. They're the ones providing the upstream connectivity, so surely, as was done to Riccom a few weeks ago, they could shut this lot down?

There's also a connection here, to Rise

Which has ties to NETASSIST (and yep, so 3 of the above). NETASSIST have ties to the likes of root eSolutions and several other Ukrainian AS's;

I'm looking forward to RETN's explanation for this one, whatever it may be.