Cybercriminals are increasingly using .eu domain names in their attack campaigns, according to data from multiple security companies.
“Numerous malicious .eu domains have been registered during November which are being used to infect PCs with malware via the Blackhole exploit kit,” said Fraser Howard, principal virus researcher at security vendor Sophos, in a blog post on Thursday.
Blackhole is a Web-based attack toolkit that uses exploits for vulnerabilities in browser plug-ins like Adobe Reader, Flash Player or Java, to infect computers with malware.
In the attack seen by Sophos, cybercriminals hosted their Blackhole attack pages on random-looking domain names with the .eu extension, all pointing to a known malicious server located in the Czech Republic.
“They are short-lived; the names only resolve to the target server for a brief period before the attackers move on to the next,” Howard said. “This type of tactic is pretty common, used by many threats in their attempts to evade security filtering.”
However, it’s usually other TLDs (top level domains) that get abused in such attacks, not .eu, Howard said.
Sophos could not immediately provide information about the number of attacks seen this year that included malicious .eu URLs, but according to data from antivirus vendor Bitdefender, the level of abuse in the .eu domain space is increasing.
“During the second half of 2012 we saw increased malicious activity on the .eu TLD,” Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst at Bitdefender, said Friday via email. “Compared to the first half of the year, the number of malicious .eu domains nearly tripled, from 0.53 percent of all security incidents involving TLDs to 1.38 percent.”
During the first half of the year, .eu was the 11th-most-frequently-abused top-level domain, Botezatu said. “Now it ranks eighth.” Russian domains, .com and .info still hold the lion’s share of abuse.
“We confirm the trend that .in as well as .eu domains are often used for hosting malicious websites and spam campaigns,” a representative of antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab said Friday in an emailed statement. “Both domain types are in the top 15 list of national domain zones of malicious sites. Also it should be noted that notorious HLUX (aka Kelihos) botnet used several .eu domains.”
Attackers usually like to move around, Howard said Friday via email. The only reasons why they would choose one TLD over another is because they found a domain provider that allows them to register domains under a particular TDL more easily or because they believe that a particular TLD’s reputation is better, he said.
“The only real benefit of choosing one TLD over another is trust,” he said. “Do users trust some TLDs more than others? If so, then there could be advantages to attackers choosing that TLD.”
Botezatu believes that .eu domains meet both the reputation and economic expectations of cybercriminals.
“Since EU domains have become popular relatively recently, they are not associated in people’s minds with abuse,” he said. “Victims wouldn’t expect to get harmed by visiting an European domain, plus the fact that they would expect its contents to be in English, unlike Russian TLDs for instance, which are known to be a safe harbor for cybercrime and also deliver localized, illegible content for outsiders.”
“The fact that .eu domains are priced the same as .com and .info domains and can be purchased yearly is also an advantage for cyber-crooks, who want the cheapest domains for the shortest period of time,” he said.
According to Howard, EURid, the nonprofit organization that manages the .eu TLD under contract with the European Commission, has historically taken decisive action to protect the reputation of the TLD.
EURid told Sophos researchers that it had resolved the issue after being notified about this recent Blackhole attack, Howard said. However, it’s not clear if that simply means the domains were suspended or if the organization made any changes to prevent the attackers from registering new ones, he said.
The number of complaints received by EURid remains very low, EURid General Manager Marc Van Wesemael said Friday via email. “We have always received some complaints and will most likely continue to do so. However, I would like to stress that we have internal procedures in place to fight abuses against .eu.”
EURid puts a lot of effort into countering abusive .eu domain registrations and has automated tools to identify abuse as early as possible, Van Wesemael said. “We also work closely with several security organisations who give us early warnings about abuses concerning .eu websites/domain names.”
However, over 95 percent of abuse cases seen by EURid involve legitimate .eu websites that have been hacked and had malware inserted into them, Van Wesemael said. In those cases taking down the infected websites is not an option because they might be used by their owners for their business, he said. “EURid informs the responsible registrar and/or the registrant about any known incident and then we follow up closely until the problem has been resolved.”
Affiliate programs, also known as associate programs or publisher programs, are actually quite simple. You get paid for selling someone else’s product or service. It is like being a salesman. All you have to do is sign up with the affiliate program of some company, such as Best Buy or Circuit City. You will then be given an account and a link, banner, or other advertisement. You place that advertisement on your web sites and when someone clicks on that link, their visit is tracked. If they decide to make a purchase, you will earn a percentage of the amount that the web site selling the product earns on that sale. For example some companies will pay 10% commission so if a visitor to your web site clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase of $100, you will get $10 (these type of programs that pay you per sale are normally called pay per sale affiliate programs).
There are many different types of affiliate programs so not all of them will pay you per sale or a percentage of a sale. Some of these different types of affiliate programs include pay per lead, residual income (also known as recurring commission, recurring income, lifetime commission and lifetime income), affiliate networks, cpa networks, two tier programs, popups, popunders, ad networks, and contextual ads. No matter what type of commission these affiliate programs pay, you still will earn from them. The amount you earn depends on how much effort you put into working with them.
Most major companies and retailers, such as Yahoo!, Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Sears, Macy’s, GameStop, Circuit City, and thousand of others have affiliate programs that pay at varying rates so you should do your research before placing an affiliate link on your web site.
To be successful with affiliate advertisements, you must select a company that offers a product that your customers will be interested in. For example, if you run a video game site, don’t place associate links for 1 800 Flowers or Home Depot on your web site, they will seem out of place and do very poorly. You have a much better chance of making money by placing affiliate links to Game Stop, EBGames, GameFly, or other video game companies that have affiliate programs.
Also, make sure that you do not have too many affiliate advertisements on your web site because it will draw visitors away and you will not make any money and lose traffic.
One great way to make a lot of money using affiliate or publisher programs is to create a product review web site. You can review any product you like from cell phones to MP3 Players to furniture and everything in between. Place an affiliate link to a web site where the product being reviewed can be purchased. This is especially useful if you gave a certain product a very good review and tempted readers to purchase that specific item.
Something that those who are new to affiliate programs do not know how to do efficiently is find high paying affiliate programs that well best complement their web site. There are a number of ways to go about this. First of all, you can go to the web site of every company that sells products related to the topic of your web site and check if they have an affiliate program and see how they pay. However, a much better and quicker method to finding quality affiliate programs is to visit affiliate program directories such as this web site. We have links to hundreds of the highest rated affiliate programs in dozens of different categories. We cannot make any guarantees, but chances are, you will find the best affiliate programs in your category, no matter how specific it is, here in our affiliate program directory.
Affiliate programs are a great way to monetize your web site and you should definitely take the time to look into them.
Hey everyone! I’m Kelly and I make a living buying and selling anything and everything. I’m going to teach you everything that I know. If you spend the next few hours reading this and asking questions, you will learn something very important. Knowledge is only a small fraction of this business though. Half of you will read this and continue your lives only wishing you could make a good in the resale business. Another 25% of you will probably read this and “try” reselling. I put “try” in quotes because you will probably half-ass it with a doubtful mind. You will scoff and think to yourself “If it’s so easy and you can make so much money, why isn’t everyone doing it?” or “It just sounds too good to be true.” I’ll let you in on a little hint. Everyone does do this. That’s what makes this job so challenging!
Those of you who put in the proper effort will succeed. Is this because the resale business is hard? You’re damn right it’s hard! If you actually take in what I teach you, however, in 6 months’ time, you will be making around $2000-10,000/month working between 5 and 20 hours per week, at your own schedule, from your own home.
Before I get in to the hot and steamy facts, I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I’m 22 years old (in a few weeks at least) and I currently live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I’ve had the “reseller’s sickness” since I was young. My mom told me a story once about how when I was in the first grade, I tried to sell Garfield comics that I printed off the internet to my classmates for a nickel. I didn’t have a real business though, until I was about 15 years old. I would go and find furniture and appliances that people left on the curb to throw out, and I would resell them in the classified section of the newspaper, and eventually, on craigslist. I made a killing (at least for a 15 year old) doing this! You can actually still make money doing that, but I’ll talk more about that later on. In 2011 I up and left my small town home for the big city, Charlotte, North Carolina, half a world away. Okay, just 1000 miles, but that’s still a long ways away! I quickly got a job selling cars for the local Kia dealership (they told me I’d be a used car salesman someday lol) and within 2 months I was promoted to corporate. I was the Executive marketing director for one of the oldest dealership franchises in the Carolinas. I made $50,000 per year plus benefits (including all the fuel I ever needed in my car for free). I could be sitting pretty there for the rest of my life if I wanted to, but I dreamt bigger things. October 15th, 2012 was a big day for me. It was my last day in the car business. I left to start reselling on eBay full time.
Since then I’ve expanded to amazon and craigslist along with eBay and nearly a year in, I’m making about the same as I did in the car business. The difference is I work at my own schedule. I can travel, spend time with friends/family, and do whatever I want because I work half the time that I did before. Now for those of you doubters, if I can leave a cushy corporate job to do this full time and never look back, you shouldn’t be afraid to start reselling too!
What are the benefits of reselling?
For starters, you can make a good living. That’s pretty obvious though. The freedom to work your own schedule and limited hours are the biggest benefit in my opinion. Living out of state, so far from my friends and family, it’s nice to take a few days off to go visit them. I also love travelling so I can go anywhere at the drop of a dime without worry of getting fired or using up PTO. You can also get health insurance through eBay. Lastly, because you are always finding deals and know how to buy low, you can usually get things you need for next to nothing!
There are two sides to every story. What are the cons of reselling?
There aren’t a lot of cons, but with everything, there are always a few. For starters, you really need to motivate yourself. With no boss looking over you, there’s nothing stopping you from skipping work for a day…..or 20. I found that out the hard way when I only made $500 last November. Too much travelling and not enough working! Another downside goes along with your health insurance. It can take a few months to get health coverage through eBay, so you’ll be insurance free until then. Lastly, you can’t prove your income until you file taxes. Don’t plan on getting any loans or leases or renting a new home until you get that tax statement next year!
If it’s so easy, why doesn’t everyone do it?
That’s a valid question that I have to answer a lot. The truth is, everyone does it, and it really pisses me off! Every time you find a new niche item or unknown supplier, you need to milk it as much as you can, because soon enough, so many people will do it that it will either (1) flood the market and drop prices, or (2) people will buy it up so much that the product cost will skyrocket. DVDs are a prime example. I used to buy them in HUGE collections from people at $1 each and sell them for $3 each. Soon later I could only sell the rare ones and the common ones would go straight to the pawn shop for my $1 back. Within months pawn shops would only pay 50 cents per DVD. Then $0.25. No they don’t buy them at all. DVDs are almost worthless! I’ve seen it happen time and time again. In fact, every month or so I have a new product that I buy and sell primarily. This can really be a pain working in an ever changing industry!
So where can I find merchandise?
There are all kinds of places to find merchandise! Soon, you’ll find yourself pricing every item you see in your head!
I find most of my merchandise in the following places:
- yard sales
- Flea markets
- Goodwill / thrift stores
- Clearance items at stores like Target / Walmart
- Salvage stores like Big Lots
- Return business
What kinds of items sell best
This is a very broad question that I get asked a lot. You can sell just about anything if you get it at the right price. I don’t want to tell you any specific items, because this changes daily, but try to look for things that are in high demand. Search craigslist for things like video game systems and hot electronics. Find the people that need cash NOW and lowball the hell out of them. They get cash now and you get a profit later. You can also find people moving, trying to unload a ton of furniture. Buy it for one price and sell it later at higher prices. If you find a discontinued item that people love, buy it and wait until later. People were paying over $100 for a box of twinkies a month after stores were sold out!
I always like to find things that I can get for next to nothing that everyone just passes by. You’d be surprised what sells! I can get scrabble games for around a dollar and sell the tiles to crafters for $10/set. I find TV remotes and sell them in wholesale lots for $1 each. Broken video game systems sell really well for parts as well! Try and make your own niche. If you hit it early, you’ll get more sales before the market gets saturated.
Tell me about shipping
Anytime I buy anything, I save the bubble wrap and box. This comes in handy because I hate spending $16 for a small roll of bubble wrap. If I have to, I get boxes at walmart when they are restocking. I also use newspaper to pack boxes. It’s all about being green right?
Always ship directly through amazon / ebay. It’s about 30% cheaper than going to the post office and much easier. Use media mail when you can (books, DVDs, CDs, etc) and anytime it’s under 13oz ship first class. I usually find it cheaper to ship in my own boxes instead of flat rate, but sometimes medium FR boxes come in handy. Order yourself a ton of flat rate padded envelopes. They are about $5.70 to ship an item and you can pack them tight! Also, get yourself a shipping scale and make sure to pack everything tight! You see the posts on the front page about how fed ex and ups deliver items!
Lastly, you want to get insurance on anything that you ship that’s over $250. It’s eBay’s policy and it will really cover your ass!
Here’s what you need to get started:
First, a smartphone. Don’t have one? GET ONE! My iphone 4 costs me about $75 a month and it’s worth every penny! Download the “amazon price check” app and the “ebay” app. I use the former to scan items to see if it’s worth anything on a regular basis.
Next, get yourself a shipping scale. You can get them cheap; for about $12, on eBay. Don’t just guess! It’ll cost you in the end!
You’ll want a USB barcode scanner. This makes listing a breeze, especially when you have hundreds of DVDs and books to look up. They are about $10 on eBay.
Order bubble mailers off of eBay too (noticing a pattern here?). #0 are best for DVDs and #2 and #4 are best for about everything else!
give yourself a dedicated office. I use my spare bedroom, but it might be smart to work out of a storage unit too.
ANSA, Make Some Money Tags:
When you are building your own website, sooner or later you run into the question – how to handle duplicate content? What do I mean by that? Imagine that you have a highly visited web page, which receives most of the daily visits. You are planning to re-design the website, and give this web page a new URL and a fresh new look, but don’t want to lose all that traffic from that old page. And you can’t keep both of them online, since they will have most likely the same content text-wise – something, which is often penalized by search engines. How do you proceed from there?
The best practice is to do a 301 redirect. The 301 message on the Internet is handled by the search engine as: moved permanently. Here is how you can make a 301 redirect for your web page:
The code needs to be placed in the Header section of the website, so that the search engine can read it first.
Header( “HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently” );
Header( “Location: http://www.new-url.com” );
RewriteRule ^old\.php$ http://www.domain.com/new.php [R=permanent,L]
The code above will direct all the traffic from the old.php to the new.php page.
With the rel=”canonical” directive:
If you run an online store and want to sell a custom made handbag, which is available in several colors, and decide to dedicate a separate page on your site for each color, then you have about 3 or 4 identical pages. You can use the rel=”canonical” element to direct all traffic to the page with the most popular color.
This will lead a search engine to point all the traffic from the similar pages to the page you have specified. This code needs to be placed in the header section of all the web pages you wish to lead somewhere else.
With the URL Redirection Manager in the Web Hosting Control Panel:
If you don’t like to meddle with code, or with new file creation, or anything like that, you can use the handy URL Redirection Manager available with all our shared web hosting plans, where a simple web interface will allow you to choose which pages to be redirected and what redirection code to be used.
Squidoo lets you build pages or “lenses” around topics about which you’re passionate. A good lens can pack a surprising amount of information onto one page; it can also let you build links back to your site from a very popular place on the web. So are they worth building for SEO?
That’s a question that came up recently on our SEO Chat forum; you can check out the thread yourself. It got a lot of our members talking. So what’s the consensus? As you’d expect, it’s complicated.
Many Squidoo links are nofollow. Because of this, they’re not going to pass link juice to your website, so they won’t help your ranking in Google. Now this doesn’t automatically mean your links in Squidoo will be nofollowed; the site seems to use some kind of algorithm to determine whether it will make your links nofollow or dofollow, and whether your lens will be “featured.”
Does this mean that Squidoo links aren’t valuable? Well, it depends. Remember that you’re trying to rank in Google to bring traffic to your website. If visitors to Squidoo find your lens and follow your link to your website, guess what? You’re getting traffic. The bigger question is whether the traffic you get from Squidoo is worth the effort you need to put into your lens to get it noticed.
Squidoo lenses may also have purposes beyond building traffic. They can add a little diversity to your link profile, and make it appear more natural to Google. Again, though, you need to consider whether it’s worth the work. Keep in mind, by the way, that even once your lens does get noticed, you’ll need to keep working on it here and there (and adding fresh content) to maintain your position. It might make a lot more sense to apply that effort to your own website.
One of our SEO Chat forum members opined that Squidoo lenses are “best used to help build an audience that would be willing to link to your main website. But this can be done with the same amount of effort by providing a guest blog to someone else’s website that has a large following already. And this type of link will have a lot of SEO value.”
Long-time SEO Chat forum member prasunsen summed up the issue nicely: “In practice most Squidoo lenses are nearly worthless because they have no authority. If by any chance your lens becomes popular and attracts links, then excellent. Most don’t. And if yours does, you are still working to build…authority for someone else’s domain (squidoo.com), not yours.”
What do you think? Have you built any Squidoo lenses? Did they perform as you hoped? Feel free to check out the thread and join the conversation!