Ah, Google, what were you thinking?
When decoded, this string is an URL to Google’s public DNS resolve for a particular domain. For example, the above string decodes to https://dns.google.com/resolve?name=fetch.vxpapub.[omitted].net&type=TXT. The attachment’s script will use this URL to retrieve the associated domain’s TXT record. A TXT record is a DNS entry that can be used to store textual data. This field is typically used for SPF or DMARC records, but could be used to host any type of textual content. The nice part about using the Google’s DNS resolver is that the information will be returned as JSON, which makes it easy for the malicious script to extract the data it needs.(via Paul Vixie)
This week’s map shows the orbits of more than 18000 asteroids in the solar system. This includes everything we know of that’s over 10km in diameter – about 10000 asteroids – as well as 8000 randomized objects of unknown size. This map shows each asteroid at its exact position on New Years’ Eve 1999. All of the data for this map is shared by NASA and open to the public.Really lovely stuff!