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Spammers Increasingly Using Russian Domain Names

Published September 26, 2010

Noticed more spam coming from domains in Russia? It's no coincidence - it seems many spammers are shifting from China to spam-tolerant Russian domain name registrars.

Registrars of Chinese domain names used to be a spammer's best friend, but according to M86 Security Labs, since China's domain name regulator implemented stricter regulations for registrations, spammers have been shifting operations to focus on utilising the .ru domain extension. 

M86 says while rules similar to China were introduced earlier this year in Russia, they are yet to take the same effect. The company says its seeing freshly registered .ru domains in quantity in spam email and reports that last month one third of all unique spam-spewing domains had the .ru extenion, the highest proportion of any top level domain, followed by .com.

Two registrars seem to be primarily responsible for allowing spam abuse, with one having 4000 .ru spam domains registered, the other with 1800 in the last month. 

The domains are only used for a few hours at a time before they are blacklisted by various filters. The spammers know this and automatically switch to other domains before the blacklisting occurs. The registering of multiple domains has been made easier by one registrar that allows for up to 600 names to be registered at a time.

M86 says that while complaints have been lodged to these registrars, anti-spam groups are reporting the registrars will often ignore requests to suspend domains carrying out illegal activity. 


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