Vapurl.com is Dead

After less than a year in service, Vapurl.com has been shut down.  I haven’t been monitoring it very closely for a good six months, but apparently a Russian spam network was using Vapurl to mask their URLs.  Spamhaus figured out what was going on and reported our domain as bad.  Apparently, GoDaddy.com doesn’t like to be the registar for anyone listed on Spamhaus, so they suspended our account.

If we wanted to bring the site back up tt would have cost us at least $75 just to reactivate our account to transfer away from GoDaddy, and then we would have needed to figure out a way to keep block the spammers; a very time consuming battle, I’m sure.  It just wasn’t worth it to try to fight the spam.  We could have probably engineered the site differently from the get-go to make the site less appealing to spammers, but we were really just looking for a fun weekend project to play with Google App Engine.  At the end of the day, I’d say the site was a success.  It was a fun learning experience, even if it didn’t last very long.

10 Responses to “Vapurl.com is Dead”

  1. Chris Says:

    How many hits did you get over the life of the site? You should move the site and relaunch it in static form to preserve your \weekend project\.

  2. aaron Says:

    It looks like we got about 30,000 visitors (63,000 page views) over the lifetime of the site. There was a spike to about 2000 visitors (from about 100) the day before it got shut down. That’s probably when the spammers really started using us. There wouldn’t be much to see if the site is just static. Maybe I’ll get in and take some screenshots.

  3. Charles Says:

    Any chance on getting the code you used to create VAPURL. So people can integrate it in to their own website. Basically make the disposable URL’s without the public interface so the spammers don’t use it.

  4. aaron Says:

    Charles: Interesting question. I’ll have to think about it. I’ll send you an email with a little more detail.

  5. orlando Says:

    heya!! would love to integrate this too!!! actually need this for a project i am working on too!!

    what do you say??

  6. CM Says:

    I’ve been looking to implement something like this in a strictly internal setting. Would you consider throwing the source up on GitHub or something?

  7. Aaron Says:

    Yeah. I’m definitely open to that idea. I just need to find the code. 🙂

  8. Aaron Says:

    I’ve gone ahead and posted the source code here:

    https://github.com/nogwater/vapurl

    I really don’t recommend that anyone use it as is.

  9. Aaron Says:

    Here ya go:
    https://github.com/nogwater/vapurl

    I’ve been thinking about open sourcing it for a while, but went ahead and did it today. It runs on GoogleAppEngine, but really needs to be modified to keep the spammers out if anyone else wants to use it.

  10. Disposable URLs Says:

    […] out the news from A Broken Thought’s official blog post here. Aaron says it was a good learning experience if nothing […]

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