Apr 25, 2019

GoDaddy removes a massive network of bogus sales sites

Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

GoDaddy removed a cluster of more than 15,000 fraudulent website subdomains discovered by a researcher at Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 threat intelligence team.

Why it matters: The scam, which sold products like weight loss pills, used breached websites to add legitimacy to its sales and involved using fake celebrity endorsements.

Details: Jeff White, the researcher at Unit 42, started researching the network of sites more than 2 years ago when he noticed spam messages that looked visually similar and used similar language.

  • The products were sold on commission as part of an affiliate marketing program and used low initial pricing and tiny print to get people signed up for costly subscriptions.
  • The sales took place on hacked GoDaddy websites, where hackers had set up subdomains on legitimate websites. If Axios had been hacked, that would mean the fake web site would have a web address like "hacked.axios.com" rather than "axios.com."
  • The sites used fake endorsements from the hosts of "Shark Tank," Gwen Stefani and others.

What they're saying: "This type of spam is more pernicious than most people think," said Jen Miller-Osborn, deputy director of threat intelligence at Unit 42. "I know when I get one of these emails, I wonder how people can fall for it. But they appeal to desperate people's dreams."

Go deeper: Email scammers take advantage of Gmail dot feature

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In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court sides with California on coronavirus worship service rules

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's liberal justices, to reject a challenge to California's pandemic restrictions on worship services.

Why it matters: This is a setback for those seeking to speed the reopening of houses of worship, including President Trump.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,923,432— Total deaths: 364,836 — Total recoveries — 2,493,434Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,745,930 — Total deaths: 102,808 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.