“Cyber-scammers have started using ‘1.usa.gov’ links in their spam campaigns in a bid to fool gullible users into thinking that the links they see on a website or have received in their mail or newsletter are legitimate U.S. Government websites. Spammers have created these shortened URLs through a loophole in the URL shortening service provided by bit.ly. USA.gov and bit.ly have collaborated, enabling anyone to shorten a .gov or .mil URL into a ‘trustworthy’ 1.usa.gov URL. Further, according to an explanation provided by HowTo.gov, creating these usa.gov short URLs does not require a login.”
Found via Slashdot.
Just a pro tip: don’t ever click a bit.ly in an e-mail address. Facebook doesn’t allow you to post bit.ly links for a reason – while they’re super for services like Twitter, they’re also super for redirecting you to dangerous sites. Same goes for QR codes. Don’t blindly load that re-directing image into your phone and just always assume the best.
And on that topic, be careful with your phone downloads, too. Especially if you have an Android device. Think about it: if you have a smart phone, it’s essentially a small computer with no anti-virus protection on it. Apple can no longer claim that their computers are virus resistant. It’s only a matter of time that phone malware becomes a serious issue (and a great way for security companies to make a ton of cash, too). Just be wary, especially if you’re looking for a popular download like Angry Birds.