Feeds

MP3sparks.com downed by links to Russian cybercrime gang

iTuneski jumps in bed with spammy host

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Exclusive The popular Russian digital music retailer MP3sparks.com has scored an own goal by doing business with a web host that has been linked to an infamous cybercrime syndicate. Many UK users have been frozen out of the site as a result.

Access to the site for customers of major UK ISPs including Virgin Media, Plusnet and Zen has been difficult since it switched web host on 28 December. All the ISPs are members of LINX, an exchange that connects them to the wider internet.

A section of internet backbone, owned by US-held Tier 1 provider Cogent, has been identified as the source of the block. The firm was unavailable for comment today, but a UK representative said our request for details on the embargo would be passed to executives.

A spokesman for Plusnet confirmed that Cogent applies an across-the-board ban on traffic from MP3sparks' new web host, AbdAllah Internet ("AbdAllah" hereafter). Plusnet rerouted its traffic last night so customers can access MP3sparks.

The development raises new questions about the integrity of the MP3sparks operation, which is no stranger to controversy.

AbdAllah is a shadowy Turkish outfit that has been repeatedly blacklisted for providing sanctuary to malware, fraud and phishing sites, and spam. It also has strong links with the Russian Business Network, a notorious group known for pumping the internet with child pornography and denial of service attacks, as well as malware, on behalf of anyone that will pay.

Security firms including Verisign and Symantec have slammed their criminal activities.

The Russian Business Network empire was highlighted by a Washington Post report in October last year.

In response to the exposé, the St Petersberg incarnation of the Russian Business Network was cut off the internet by its ISP C41, but security watchers noted that new tentacles were emerging in Taiwan and Turkey.

A traceroute on the MP3sparks domain reveals Turkish telco TurkTelekom as the "last hop". It acts as AbdAllah's primary upstream link to the internet, as C41 did for the original Russian Business Network servers.

Leading spam tracker Spamhaus has traced the links between AbdAllah and Russian cyber criminals. This entry in Spamhaus' Register Of Known Spam Operations database plots the evidence tieing AbdAllah to a drug spamming scam run by Leo Kuvayev, AKA Alex Rodriguez. Kuvayev is Spamhaus' public enemy number one.

However close or distant the relationship with the Russian gangs, Cogent and other carriers have judged that they should block AbdAllah traffic, even if it includes a popular music retailer.

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.