And another one.... classmates.com has a problem....
Edited on 21 August 2008 to replace deleted graphic... surprisingly, the SWF is still accessible via the original URL, even after all this time.
This time the URL is:
Same malicious SWF:
Same redirect, same end result...
Something occurs to me - let's look closely at the URL - it refers to "GeminiIntera"... could that be a reference to "Gemini Interactive", an online advertising agency?
I'm betting it does. Let's check out who is behind www.geminiinteractive.net.
Gemini Interactive's web site is hosted by...
NETDIRECT (reverse 89-149-242-64.internetserviceteam.com)
Gemini Interactive's name servers are supplied by... and this is a BIG indication of guilt:
ESTBOXES (aka Estdomains, hosted by the infamous INTERCAGE)
Gemini Interactive's mail server is hosted by CERNELNETWORK. There is some interesting information about CERNELNETWORK to be gleaned. A quick Robtex check of IP 126.96.36.199 (the IP address of the mail server used by Gemini Interactive and supplied by CERNELNETWORK) resolves to:
The IP address in turn reveals even more names:
Once again we can see that if a web site is willing to complete basic investigations into an advertising agency then they may save themselves a lot of grief.
Any advertising network with the sort of ties revealed in this article cannot and should not be trusted.
It says on the classmates.com web site that classmates.com is a "United Online Company". So, who are United Online?
United Online describes itself as "a leading provider of consumer Internet and media services with over 50 million members across its stable of brands. The company's primary Content & Media segment services include social networking (Classmates) and online loyalty marketing (MyPoints). Its primary Communications segment services include Internet access and email (NetZero and Juno)."
I think I know, now, why I have received several complaints about malicious banner advertisements in association with Juno.
United Online then goes on to say that they "reach over 20% of the US online adult population and have over 50 million members across [their] properties. [Their] advanced targeting and integrated advertising solutions allow advertisers to effectively and efficiently engage with their target audience. In addition, United Online provides advertisers with sophisticated market research capabilities through its CyberTarget division. CyberTarget can create real-time market research in an Internet environment."
United Online may have "sophisticated market research capabilities" but it seems that their researching abilities do not extend to checking into the background or bona fides of those they accept advertising from.