I’m pretty confused: I just got what looks like an email from MySpace that says “Jason” has sent me a song, but it points me to a completely different Web site. I attach the message: is it legit or are they phishing for my MySpace account information?
Here’s the message you sent me (in part):
From: “New MySpace Message” <[email protected]>
Subject: New message from Jason on MySpace sent on Oct 06 03:20:01 -4 2006
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2006 08:29:42 +0100
You’ve got a new song from Jason on MySpace!
Click here to hear your MySpace music:
Click here to get 5-free songs downloaded to Your Space:
At MySpace we care about your privacy. We have sent you this
notification to facilitate your use as a member of the MySpace service. If
you don’t want to receive emails like this to your external email account
in the future, change your Account Settings to “Do not send me
Click here to change your Account Settings:
MySpace Inc. – 1900 Wilshire Blvd. 2109, Los Angeles, CA 90403-5400 USA
©2006 MySpace Inc. All Rights Reserved
It certainly looks like a message that MySpace would send out. In fact, when I have a new message on MySpace, the subject line indeed is identical, but a bit of digging reveals what’s really going on…
Surprisingly, it’s not a phishing attempt, though, it’s just a sneaky way for a illegal music download archive site called Your MP3 Song to generate traffic.
I drew this conclusion by first recognizing that any site that would use a fake MySpace message to draw traffic, then digging around in the domain name records. After all, on first glance, it’s not impossible that MySpace could own a music download service.
A quick visit to a DNS and whois server reveals, however, that the registrant for uxmp3.com is a chap out of Finland called Alex Rodrigez. I then plugged his phone number into Google and found this: phone search results.
If you check it out, you’ll see that he’s associated with reported phishing attempts on the German site phished.de and resellerratings.com.
Going back to the MP3 song site, there are a variety of things that set off alarms in my head, including no indication that there’s a partnership with any record labels (which makes it hard to believe these are legal music copies), the surprisingly low pricing model ($0.10/song, which is less than the royalty on a given song according to Apple’s breakdown of its $0.99/[legal!] song pricing model). The kicker, though? In the Terms of Service is this gem:
“All materials presented on this site are avaliable for the distribtution over the Internet in accordance with the license of the Russian Organization for multimedia and Digital Systems (ROMS) and intended for personal use only. Further distribution, resale or broadcasting is strictly prohibited.”
and, my favorite part:
“The Client has no right to download Files from the archive of audio recordings of YourMp3Songs if this violates the law of his country. The Site Administration is not controling the Client’s actions therefore the Client is reponsibile for any illegitimate use of the Site’s materials.”
Ah, well, I don’t think that’s quite accepted by the World Intellectual Property Organization or any other legal body. Indeed, it’s the same problematic agreement that’s behind the controversial AllofMP3.com, as you can read about on Google News.
Needless to say, it’s not a phishing attempt and they’re not trying to glom onto any of your MySpace information, but they are inappropriately using MySpace material to make you think it’s a legit invitation and sign up for this doubtless illegal music download site.
My advice: just delete this sort of message and good job being vigilant enough to notice that the URLs were pointing to somewhere other than myspace.com before you clicked on them!