9ox.net - URL shortener

Discussion of items in the "What's New" log.

9ox.net - URL shortener

Postby gourmet » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:36 am

Hi everyone,

Because 9ox.net said "coming soon..." for very long time. I thought we could use domain for something.

9ox.net now provides URL shortener.

It's still in beta so if there are any problems, please send feedback. Private messages on this forum are ok or you'll find feedback url from about page.

- Thanks

Best regards,
Gourmet

Edit: Subject fixed.
Last edited by gourmet on Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 9xo.net - URL shortener

Postby justs » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:58 pm

gourmet wrote:Hi everyone,

Because 9ox.net said "coming soon..." for very long time. I thought we could use domain for something.

9ox.net now provides URL shortener.

It's still in beta so if there are any problems, please send feedback. Private messages on this forum are ok or you'll find feedback url from about page.

- Thanks

Best regards,
Gourmet


Nice, truly tiny url's :) I'll use this quite a bit for Twitter and the like. Less useful for links that need to remain active for more than 365 days (code on my custom start page for example), but otherwise really nice.

And since I use 9ox.net exclusively for my disposables, this will be an easy site to remember :) You guys rock!
Could using a Spamgourmet disposable to register for the Spamgourmet Forum tear a hole in the space-time continuum?
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Re: 9xo.net - URL shortener

Postby gourmet » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:17 am

Don't forget that there is also 30 day inactivity expire. Those limits are implemented to keep urls short. If url's would be kept permanently then service with current configuratino could only provide 238328 short urls.

Smalle tweaks to service could follow. When I remove beta status from it during fall. But it's sure that url pool won't be cleared anymore. Database structure is solid.

Just a few days ago I added usage of memcache. Of course users won't notice any difference. Using memcache reduces database access quite a lot.
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Re: 9xo.net - URL shortener

Postby gourmet » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:08 pm

Version updated to RC version, after fixing a few bugs that occurred in some random rare cases. Everything seem to be working fine.

I guess RC version will be there for summer. I got other summer plans. Only serious bugs will be fixed.

On fall I'll add "custom URLs" and some features that I know there should be but are currently missing.
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Re: 9xo.net - URL shortener

Postby gourmet » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:31 pm

It seems that there hasn't been a single problem since RC version was released. So version 1.0 is now released. If there are any problems, send me feedback. While I'll keep looking log files.
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Re: 9xo.net - URL shortener

Postby gourmet » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:14 pm

It seems that it didn't too long before URL shortener abuse started. Service got totally flooded with all kind of junk URLs.

I did major system rework and added two separate flood protection systems. This should keep database flooding in control.

Of course unfortunately it can't prevent normally generated links to be spammed around using regular spam mail and same link in every mail.

If there are any bugs, let me know thanks. Feedback address is on front page for month or two.

During that high load some of the issues I knew were there, but I didn't handle became apparent. Like not doing some stuff in transactions. Now all data processing is done with transactions and rollback is nicely controlled.

Whats next on TO-DO list?

1. Front end redesign to comply with latest HTML5 standards.
2. Totally redesign database structure, without losing data.
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Re: 9xo.net - URL shortener

Postby gourmet » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:46 am

I really got upset about spammers. Now I have three spam protection measures. One of those is WOT.
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Re: 9xo.net - URL shortener

Postby gourmet » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:54 pm

Spammers keep annoying me. Now even further anti-spam measures are implemented. Only 15 new urls / 8 hours / IP. All sites in database are rechecked daily. So if sites are being reported as spam, sites are evicted from database even those wouldn't otherwise expire. Also when inserting new sites WOT rating check is being done.

Changelog - http://9ox.net/changelog.html

I still have a few anti-spam measures in sleeve which I will implement any day.

It seems that site has been mainly abused by russian fake stuff sellers. Who sell fake watches, fake drugs/pills etc. But those sites are quickly marked as spam with WOT service. So now site with clear reputation will be banned in 24 hours if reputation goes bad.

I also made other improvements bit earlier. Like changing database structure to favor short urls. Originally I thought that database would remain pretty small, but those spammers caused huge database swelling. I'm planning to implement daily skimming routine, which would delete unused records from end of database.

Due SG downtime I have been also thinking using alternate redirection service from Google. But I have to talk about that with SG admins first.

2011-09-07

New version with JavaScript based spam controls. These also save server resources, because many url spam bots fail to comply. If there are any problems with new approach just post me pm or send email to feedback address which you'll find from http://9ox.net/ site.

Best regards,
Sami Lehtinen
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Re: 9xo.net - URL shortener

Postby gourmet » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:19 am

Due spammers creating sites that aren't WOT listed. Now I have also SURBL multi list checking implemented.

I'm currently using external DNS resolver to check these listings. I think I'll need to implement a few backup solutions. So if primary check service fails, backup will be used. Application will also keep internal statistics about success by service, so most reliable service is used by default.
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Re: 9xo.net - URL shortener

Postby gourmet » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:45 am

Now 9ox.net also checks urls agains Google Safe Browsing records. If site is bad, it gets banned for one year.

AFAIK, it's now pretty hard to get spam urls through and if you get and report those accordingly (the real destination) then urls get blocked from 9ox.net forwarding in 24 hours.
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Postby habibie » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:39 am

How can a new user sign up for a 9ox.net account?
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Re: 9ox.net - URL shortener

Postby lwc » Tue May 20, 2014 1:08 pm

FYI, since late 2013 this service only works with .onions URLs.
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Re: 9ox.net - URL shortener

Postby gourmet » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:54 am

lwc wrote:FYI, since late 2013 this service only works with .onions URLs.


Yep. I got sick'n'tired about different ways they tried to abuse the service. Any reasonable measures weren't enough. Repeatedly checking blocking lists etc. There's aways a way to insert just a few links, which link to other link shortening services, etc. And then suddenly spam blast those out in email. Which unfortunately according current spam fighting measures, looks for the urls in emails and detects the shorteting service as being the "advertised spam url".

I'm sure that people are familiar with spam problems in this setting. Only effective measure against that would be hard forwarding rate limit, which on otherhand isn't working solution, becuause it would also (almost) immediately block any legimite but popular URLs.

Unfortunately this is the normal state of current Internet. If you try to implement something nice and useful, there are immediately smarms of users looking to abuse your service. What ever service it is. Due to botnets and IPv6, IP address blocking or rate limiting doesn't basically help at all, etc. So there's no simple way to get rid of these problems.

But this is actually quite interesting topic in this spamgourmet setting. If someone has very bright and totally effective yet simple to implement solutions with low false positive rate, I'm very curious to hear about those. Yes, I know, if it would be so simple, we wouldn't need services like spamgourmet in the first place. Because there wouldn't be any spam to fight.

- Thanks

habibie wrote:How can a new user sign up for a 9ox.net account?

If you're talking about email addresses. Then it's enough that you'll just create your Spamgourmet.com account and when using email give 9ox.net instead of spamgourmet.com.

9ox.net (forwarding service) doesn't use accounts. I personally don't like services which require login, because it makes occasional use of services harder. Of course requiring something like Google+ account would be trivial (I already have the code implemented), and could efficiently limit spam, but it's against my believes. Any thoughts about this?

Massive CGN addresses won't make things any easier, because IPv4 is really low on addresses and IPv6 is not yet widely used.
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