KickassTorrents seized by feds and owner arrested

KickassTorrents seized by feds and owner arrested

If you try to visit a KickassTorrents domain name you will probably be greeted by a blank webpage or image from the FBI that claims “This domain has been seized.” KickassTorrents domain names, including kat.cr have been seized by feds and the alleged owner, a 30 year old Ukranian man named Artem Vaulin was arrested in Poland on July 20th. Other KickassTorrents like kat.tv are expected to be seized by Verisign.

kickasstorrents seized by feds

The United States Federal Government arrested the alleged owner of KickassTorrents in Poland and charged the man with criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. Furthermore, a federal courthouse in Chicago also ordered the seizure of several KickassTorrents domain names, including kat.cr and kickass.to.

kickasstorrents federal court complaint

KickassTorrents happens to be the world’s largest torrenting website after the fall (and slight rise) of ThePirateBay. KickassTorrents websites have millions of unique visitors stopping by their websites to download torrents, read blogs, and have discussions every day. However, this new blockade on the popular torrenting website suspends immediate hope of a return for the popular torrenting website in the near future.

Another thing to be weary about is that the federal government might now have information about their users and uploaders. The complaint mentions private messages that were sent through KickassTorrents. This suggests that authorities have obtain access to a large amount of data.

Regular users of the website are unlikely to be targeted by the government for any purpose. However, big-time uploaders might have something to fear. The information gathered can possibly be used in future investigations against large uploaders.

Feds posed as advertisers

The complaint filed in the district court against KickassTorrents and owner Vaulin reveals that the federal government posed as an advertiser which allowed them to obtain access to KAT’s bank account.

Apple gave feds personal information

The complaint also discloses that Apple gave the federal government personal details of Vaulin after the feds cross-referenced an IP-address used for an iTunes transaction with an IP-address that was used to login to KAT’s Facebook account.

“Records provided by Apple showed that tirm@me.com conducted an iTunes transaction using IP Address 109.86.226.203 on or about July 31, 2015. The same IP Address was used on the same day to login into the KAT Facebook,” the complaint states.

On this matter, Assistant Attorney General Caldwell comment that “KickassTorrents helped to distribute over $1 billion in pirated files” and that “Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials.”

Caldwell also added that “In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice.”

Could there be a comeback for KickassTorrents in store? The future is not clear at this moment.

 

(Hoax) Facebook released the entry price: $5.99 to keep your status “private”

(Hoax) Facebook released the entry price: $5.99 to keep your status “private”

A Facebook hoax started in September of 2015 that is making a comeback claims that “Facebook released the entry price: $5.99 to keep your status “private.”” The Facebook hoax claims that if you copy and paste specific content into your Facebook timeline and share it with your friends that you will be offered the service for free by tomorrow. However, this is not true.

Facebook is not switching to any paid subscription service and sharing content on Facebook that suggest otherwise will not help you one bit.

In Facebook’s Help Center section, the social network was asked about this and responded. Facebook says “Will Facebook ever charge for service?” quite plainly “No. We will always keep Facebook a free service for everyone.”

Here’s an example of the initial hoax:

Now it's official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: $5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to "private". If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste
Better safe than sorry is right. Channel 13 News was just talking about this change in Facebook's privacy policy. Better safe than sorry. As of September 26th , 2015 at 01:16 a.m. Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement atleast once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and paste

Facebook has just released the entry price

These variants of Facebook hoaxes have been in circulation for many years and this particular hoax was initially started in September 2015. A Google search will reveal many websites that have previously debunked these types of Facebook hoaxes in the past.

Published on: Sep 28, 2015

Win a Disney Cruise for 5 – Within the next 24 hours (Facebook Scam)

Win a Disney Cruise for 5 – Within the next 24 hours (Facebook Scam)

The “Win a Disney Cruise for 5 – Within the next 24 hours” Facebook scam is a common like-farming scam designed to acquire Facebook likes and shares to a specific Facebook page.

Fake Disney Cruise Line Facebook page claims users can win a Disney Cruise for 5

A Facebook page that claims to be Disney Cruise Lines has recently published a Facebook post titled “Win a Disney Cruise for 5 – Within the next 24 hours.” The Facebook post fraudulently claims that Disney Cruise Lines is giving one person a change to win a Dream Disney Cruise along with 5 friends. The post also claims the winner will stay in a 5 star hotel room and be given $5,000 spending cash. In order to be eligible for the fake giveaway the post claims that Facebook users must share the post and like the associated Facebook page.

Win a Disney Cruise for 5 - Within the next 24 hours

These types of scams are very common. Most scams associated with Disney Cruise Lines promote rogue Facebook apps, hijack Facebook accounts, spread malware on the machine, and direct users to survey-scam websites. However, at this time, the fake Disney Cruise Lines Facebook page is simply trying to gather Facebook likes by duping Facebook users into believing that they can win a Disney Cruise by sharing a post and liking a Facebook page.

The fake Disney Cruise Lines Facebook page has nothing to do with Disney or Disney Cruise Lines. The Facebook page is an obvious fake. This type of Facebook scam is extremely common and the “Win a Disney Cruise for 5 – Within the next 24 hours” Facebook post has been fully researched as a scam.

If you share the “Win a Disney Cruise for 5 – Within the next 24 hours” post on Facebook you will only be promoting a deceitful Facebook page. You will not be given a change to win a free Disney cruise. Although the Facebook page is only trying to gather Facebook likes at the moment, it could be used for other scams in the future.

“com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox” referral traffic explained

“com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox” referral traffic explained

What is com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox?

Many people have sent me messages asking what com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox referral traffic is and why are com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox referrals appearing in their Google Analytics data. Some suspect that the com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox referral has something to do with referrer spam. However, that is not the case. According to various sources, Google Now For Android Version 5.12.34.16.arm is now letting users open all websites within it. The com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox URL string is also the name of the Android app APK for the Google Search app. This means that the com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox referrals you are noticing are coming from Android users who use various Google Search applications.

com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox referral

It all started on April 27th, 2016 when people began to notice com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox referrers in their Google Analytics reports. On April 28th various Google applications, including Google Search were updated. All of this information compiled together suggested that Google is now letting webmasters monitor web traffic from Android search applications.

So, if you notice com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox referral traffic mixed in with your Google Analytics data do not be alarmed. It’s not referrer spam. Additionally, it is suggested to use the newly acquired information to your advantage. The referrers are a great way to keep track of some Android users and those who use Android applications to locate web content.

ThePirateBay “Could not connect to caching server 00”

ThePirateBay “Could not connect to caching server 00”

If you visit one of The Pirate Bay’s websites such as thepiratebay.org you will be shown a blank white page that says “Could not connect to caching server 00”. The “Could not connect to caching server 00” error means that thepiratebay website is having server issues.

Could not connect to caching server 00

This error has been common on TPB’s websites for many years. The server issue is usually fixed within hours.

Referrer Spammers Are Attacking The Reputation of Web Hosting Companies

Referrer Spammers Are Attacking The Reputation of Web Hosting Companies

The reputation of several well-established web hosting companies like Hostgator and Siteground are under attack by referrer spammers. A third-party appears to be spamming the domain names of reputable web hosting providers into Google Analytics reports across the globe in order to potentually harm their reputations. Referrer spam is usually a blackhat SEO tactic designed to help desperate websites promote their online services and websites they want people to visit. It is a tactic typically endorsed by questionable websites like Aliexpress.com, Semalt.com, and Traffic2Cash.xyz.

Referrer Spammers Are Attacking Web Hosting Companies

There is a pattern to this new wave of referrer spam that leaves me to believe that the referrer spammer is someone linked to the domain-tracker.com domain name and several others like it. When you visit domain-tracker.com you will be forwarded to a new web hosting website such as Bluehost.com, Greengeeks.com, and others. Each time you visit the URL you are forwarded to an affiliate link that help the spammer generate income via an affiliate program. This is something that occurred in 2015 with the hosting-tracker.com referrer spam domain and Syfonix.com web hosting company.

A spammer was using the hosting-tracker.com referrer spam link to spam Google Analytics reports across the globe. Once victims visited hosting-tracker.com they were forwarded to a affiliate link on the Syfonix website. Syfonix was able to stop the spammer and terminate their account. They did not pay any earnings to the spammer.

Furthermore, domain-tracker.com referrer spam first appeared on early February 28th, 2015. Several hours later the domain names of legitimate web hosting providers began to appear in Google Analytics reports.

Referrer spam is essentially harmless and it will now affect how your website appears in Google Search Results Pages. However, it ruin your website’s data monitored and provided in Google Analytics reports. Referrer spam can ruin things your like bounce rate and other information measured in Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversion reports. It can negatively affect your bounce rate because the spam URL will appear to land on a single webpage on your website and leave your website from the same webpage, thus creating a 100% rate.

ThePirateBay.se is down, mobile domain suspended

ThePirateBay.se is down, mobile domain suspended

ThePirateBay.se is down and their mobile website has been suspended. The Pirate Bay mobile website TheMobileBay.org has reached the same fate as other TPB websites including .LA, .GD, .VG, and .MN. TheMobileBay.org is listed as “clienthold” which is the same thing that happened last December to the other domain names when they were suspended by its registrar.

ThePirateBay.se is down

TheMobileBay was launched 18 months ago for users of mobile devices. Mobile devices have been automatically diverted to the special mobile version of The Pirate Bay. However, this week the diversions began to falter.

It’s very likely that a copyright holder complaint is the reason for the indefinite suspension of The Mobile Bay. However, this has not been officially confirmed by TPB.

ThePirateBay is no longer reachable at TheMobileBay.org domain and if you try to visit thepiratebay.se you will be met with a CloudFlare webpage that says “website is offline.” This is the same thing that happened to the other domain names before they were lost for good. It is unclear what exactly is happening with thepiratebay.se but we have not been able to reach it on different devices from different locations around the world.

Weekly Spam Report: Jan 17 – 23

Weekly Spam Report: Jan 17 – 23

weekly spam report

Weeks prior to January 17 showed little-to-no signs life in the referrer spam community. However, that all changed when the week of January 17th arrived. Many new referrer spam domain names were introduced and began their global campaigns. Most of the new domain names introduced after January 17th and before January 23rd appended the .xyz domain extension. The largest referrer spam campaign last week promoted sharebutton.to through multiple referrer spam URLs that forwarded to the website. Other referrer spam URLs were simply eye-catching or directed visitors to deceptive Traffic2Cash marketing ploys that lead to websites desperately asking for your personal information. The Traffic2Cash websites essentially promote a questionable advertising platform who is no stranger to referrer spam called propellerads.com.

Here are some notable spam domains and webpages that were introduced last week:

how.to.travel.and.make.money.online.for.free.with.maps.ilovevitaly.com

This webpage not only participated in referrer spamming. It also utilized keyword spam in order to appear as a keyword in Google Analytics reports. If you visit this URL you will be directed to a webpage on the ilovevitaly.com website.

net-profits.xyz

If you visit this URL you will be forwarded to sharebutton.to.

free-traffic.xyz

If you visit this URL you will be forwarded to sharebutton.to.

free-social-buttons.xyz

If you visit this URL you will be forwarded to sharebutton.to.

social-widget.xyz

If you visit this URL you will be forwarded to sharebutton.to.

web-revenue.xyz

If you visit this URL you will be directed to a deceptive “Traffic2Cash” website promoting propellerads.com.

traffic-cash.xyz

If you visit this URL you will be directed to a deceptive “Traffic2Cash” website promoting propellerads.com.

Luckily, referrer spam can be blocked in Google Analytics by creating a custom exclude filter that targets the campaign source of each domain. To block referrer spam from these new URLs simply click on the domain name above and you will be directed to a webpage on our website that contains easy instructions.