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What is Semalt.com? Is Semalt a phishing site? Semalt & the Soundfrost.org Trojan Virus

If you own a blog or website and wondering what heck Semalt is, we have the answer for you.

Semalt is a web service tracking site that is using guerrilla tactics to gain a user base… and its working.

Semalt will go to your site, and will in turn show up on sites that are referring traffic to your website. This then gets you curious, and click on their website, and BOOM now they have your information. The site is beyond shady, and I would not trust them with your information.

Noone knows what they actually do, if they do anything at all… Avoid at all costs

~ This Is Tight

The above quote is from a website I found when I was searching for information on Semalt.com. Like many other people, I’d been receiving a load of traffic from this site, and when I checked out their homepage, I was given no information. I either had the choice to login or register, that is all.

I was rather suspicious, and it seems many other people are too. I did register to find out what they do, and it appears that they just offer a way to monitor traffic on your website (for a fee of course.)

What really grated me about how I found them was that they spammed (using bots) my website with fake visits, messing up my stats. I suggest that no-one has anything to do with this shady company. Although my research has shown that they are just (yet) another website monitoring tool, I don’t like how they went about increasing their search engine visibility. Besides, Google offers all the tools you need to monitor your website – for free.

EDIT: Semalt’s method of gaining pageviews on their own site appears to be against Google’s rules as it’s a method of trying to falsify their page ranking. It’s known as a Black Hat technique and is frowned upon. If Semalt pester your website and mess-up your website stats, you can report them for spam here – https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreportform?hl=en.

ANOTHER EDIT: It appears that Semalt.com have been deleting all of the negative comments from their Social Media channels. Bad move guys. It’s best to admit mistakes and respond to criticism professionally. They’ve actually blocked me from posting or contacting them via Facebook.

Semalt and the Soundfrost.org Trojan Virus

EDIT: In a sinister turn of events, Semalt has started using a botnet to spam websites, and even have their own Trojan virus to infect computers. See https://www.virustotal.com/en/ip-address/217.23.11.15/information/ for information on (and proof of) the threat. See this other blog post with a detailed look at the threat from Semalt – http://blog.nabble.nl/post/93306955157/semalt-infecting-computers-to-spam-the-web

This is being done through another website belonging to Semalt’s owner. The site is Soundfrost.org, and the programme they offer as a download is the virus.

The owner is spamming the Soundfrost.org link all over the place, people download it and then that’s it, your computer is infected and becomes part of their botnet. Goodness only knows what else this malicious software does.

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7 Comments

  1. Thanks for the information ,I ran a blogger blog and they even promised me to get 1000k visitors a day,I applied for adsence and blive me,Google dis-able my account,for this,I have to report them just now

  2. Thank you for providing the link to the google webspam reporting. I’m new to google analytics and when I found these guys after their visits to my site I was curios.

  3. Their removal tool doesn’t work (I’ve tried more than once) and they are on every site I manage. Global spam!

    • Please, make sure you have specified the subdomains of your sites as well, because our system identifies a subdomain as a separate site. Otherwise our crawlers will continue visiting your webpages. http:// is required.

    • I, like many people are wary of using their form as you’re giving them further information. Search on how to block them using the .htaccess file.

      • In the midst of another wave of referral spam flooding the web I took a deeper look into Semalt and the behaviour of organisations like them. I am convinced that we are not dealing with a SEO company but a group of criminals.

        1. None of the staff members on the semalt.com site seems to be an existing person. They only live through their obscure Social Media appearances on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, dating sites and through their posts on various blogs discussing referral spam. Biographical data and work experience entries are so vague that you have no way to check against.
        2. Their US headquarters is a postbox and phone number set up with a global provider of secretarial and answering services.I assume the Kiyv address and Ukrainian names of the “staff” have simply been set up to set a false lead.
        2. With a claimed user base of roughly 800,000 – which is fairly small considering the coverage they are getting, btw – there is almost no independent review of their autoSEO tool available. I only found one and it’s negative. It’s unclear if the tool does work at all. It may do so using the small database they retrieve from their crawlers but more likely it’s just used to distribute the malware which is embedded with it.

        The “company”, staff and website are a total ecosystem of scam. I think, they are engaged with either phishing or affiliate fraud or with both of it. Her is a blog entry explaining how afiliate fraud is working:
        http://www.blackmoreops.com/2014/12/19/darodar-com-referrer-spam/

        Blocking referrer spam through .htaccess doesn’t work, actually. In most cases they don’t visit the sites they are spamming at all but they run a script containing random variants of the Analytics Tracking ID UA-XXXXXXX-X simulating a visit while indeed their traffic is only bouncing between their servers and Google’s Analytics database.
        Currently, there seems to be no way to block the spammers than by setting up lengthy regex filter entries in Analytics. Cumbersome, as you have to append new spam domain names almost every day. I hope that Google some day will take action and block referral spammers from Analytics reports as WordPress, Inc. did last year with Semalt:
        http://www.straight.com/blogra/593201/homeless-vancouver-referrer-madness-wordpress-finally-flags-semalt

        Cheers,
        Nick

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