IATLD Site Hacked to promote casinos

mercyme

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
UK
Hi All

The group behind Spin Palace casino have taken yet another step in the wrong direction. In their pursuit of top rankings in Google, they have hired a hacker or hackers that are defacing sites and spamming like there is no tomorrow.

If you want to find an online casino, your choice is now severely limited because every site that ranks features Spin Palace and its sister sites.

Many external forums are picking up on this and you can read about the techniques being employed here

xhttp://www.irishwonder.syndk8.co.uk/2013/04/06/iatld-ranking-for-a-gambling-term-how-ironic-or-not/

That is just one example of the hundreds of sites that they are currently hacking.

If you want to see the extent and damage they are causing to the online gambling industry please search for "online casinos" using

xhttp://www.google.com.au

and

xhttp://www.google.com

All the "compromised" sites and other rubbish you see in the results is due to hacking and spamming that they as an ethical operator are sponsoring.

How does one combat this type of criminal hacking?

That i do not know. But players and affiliates should be aware of what is happening.

Thanks
MercyMe
 

bonustreak

Senior Member
webmeister
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Location
Home Office
I wish I could see what your saying but when I do a search in Google AU I get Lucky Nugget 1st followed by a few of the Fortune Lounge brands...
Although it would not surprise me if they were doing shady things & they are in the dog house already with many affiliates...
 

Simmo!

Paleo Meister (means really, really old)
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
England
I may be missing something but where is the evidence Spin Palace are behind this?
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
It's true. The site only ranks on page 3, below many individual casinos. The issue is really that this particular site just should not be returned at all for a search using the term "Casino bonus". Three brands are being promoted, Palace Group, Digimedia, and Fortune Lounge.

It doesn't look like a case of Spin Palace hiring hackers, but a case of a "black hat" affiliate having found a means to circumvent the recent Google updates.

When clicking on one of the sites, Royal Vegas, my security blocks it as a "dangerous site". this doesn't happen when I visit the genuine Royal Vegas site, so it may actually be a fake, not a genuine part of the Royal Vegas site intended for Australian players. Who knows, it may not even be Royal Vegas at all, but a "Reel Vegas type scam where the visitor thinks they are downloading one casino, but the end up with a dodgy rogue instead.

I am not trying it on my new machine, but my other one is being readied for a major rebuild, and a complete new set of hard drives.

At present, it does not appear that Palace group are behind this, just a dodgy affiliate who needs to be exposed and have their accounts shut down.

Most at risk are his Fortune Lounge affy accounts, which is why I looked at the Royal Vegas link. His Digimedia affy accounts are also at risk, and it seems only the Palace Group are not taking much of a stand against their affiliates' behaviours.
 

Simmo!

Paleo Meister (means really, really old)
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
England
At present, it does not appear that Palace group are behind this, just a dodgy affiliate...

Yes that's the conclusion I reached. Did a Google search and can't see any other forums talking about this. Am going to change the potentially misleading and libellous thread title until the OPs accusations are proven.
 

Nifty29

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 20, 2001
Location
Turn right, then right. then right again
I sincerely hope this whole thing isn't an affy (the OP is) using the forums to push an agenda or "take revenge" against palace group for something.

I'm always wary of newbs launching into this kind of thing the minute they sign up. In my experience there is usually an ulterior motive.

If I'm wrong, I apologize to the OP, but my experience tells me to be somewhat cautious.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
I sincerely hope this whole thing isn't an affy (the OP is) using the forums to push an agenda or "take revenge" against palace group for something.

I'm always wary of newbs launching into this kind of thing the minute they sign up. In my experience there is usually an ulterior motive.

If I'm wrong, I apologize to the OP, but my experience tells me to be somewhat cautious.

Unfortunately, Palace Group have left themselves open to this kind of accusation due to their attitude that they have "no control" over how their affiliates choose to operate. This has created controversy over their handling of spam complaints, where rather than trying to identify the affiliates concerned and giving them a stern warning or the boot, they tell the recipient of the spam that so long as there is an unsubscribe link, their affiliates are doing nothing wrong.

It has also lead to speculation that the spam has not come from affiliates at all, but is the Palace group themselves orchestrating the campaign (hence they can't take action against non existent rogue affiliates, so have to use "spin" to deal with the matter).

By failing to stop the spam, it is easy to believe that they would quite happily shift up a gear and try some black hat SEO to manipulate Google rankings.

Has the site been hacked, or did the original owner just lose interest, not pay the registration fees, and thus left it open for someone to come along and register it themselves, but keep the old content along with it's ranking pedigree within Google.

The problem may really be Google, they shut down one SEO strategy so those affected have had to find others, and this is one of them. It's up to Google to react to this shift in strategy to again ensure that their searches return mostly "clean" results for the users. Too much pollution in Google searches will put users off using it, and Google would suffer far more than any one webmaster.

Maybe the OP is a webmaster who put a great deal of effort into the old style SEO, and took a battering when Google changed it's algorithms. Now perhaps feeling that they have been severely punished for their "grey" SEO strategies, whereas the practitioners of the truly "back" side of the art have remained largely unscathed and thus "unpunished" for what must be a far worse "crime" in terms of SEO.

As far as "sponsoring", Palace group are paying these "black hat" affiliates for their referrals, so we need to judge them on what they do from now, with this having been exposed.

It starts with tracing who this affiliate is, and that starts with finding his referral ID, which the affiliate program can put a name to.
 

mercyme

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
UK
Ok.... lets look at the evidence...

xhttp://www.satellitedishcanada.com/

this site was hacked and used to show only spin casinos...

it has been fixed but now if you look at "online casinos" on google.com you get this site www.casinotop.ca showing satelite dish canada website, who knows what they did there.

xhttp://cit.nsw.edu.au/
xhttp://http://mindshare.org.au/
xhttp://www.theinnocents.org/
Outdated URL (Invalid)
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.


all rank online casinos in google.com

hacked site that used to have links to Spin... i so should have done a screenshot... anyway. these poor site have thousands of unwanted spam links from blogs with casino terms

xhttp://aussiebluecasinos.com/
xhttp://www.jackpotcasino.com.au/
xhttp://www.onlinecasinogalore.com/
xhttp://www.onlinecasinotaste.co.uk/
xhttp://www.dronlinecasino.com/

There is no affiliate that would promote only Spin casinos... so this is most definitely them. thousands upon thousands of blog spam, hacked links, trackback spam.

oh look more

aussiecasinokings.com
aussiejackscasinos.com
outbackonlinecasino.com
aussiebluecasinos.com
australian-onlinecasino.org
australian-onlinepokies.com
bestonlinecasino-australia.com
casinogamblingonline.com.au
pokiesgalore.com.au
diamondpokies.com.au
onlinepokies-australia.org
truebluepokies.com.au
firebirdonlinecasino.com
pokiesonlineaustralia.com.au
pokiesaussie.com
playonlinepokies.com.au
aussiepokiespalace.com
fivestarpokies.com.au
jewelpokies.com.au
diamondpokies.com.au
truebluepokies.com.au
blackdiamondpokies.com
outbackonlinecasino.com
greenandgoldcasino.com
canadianredcasino.com
aussiejackscasinos.com
aussiefortunescasino.com
aussiecasinokings.com
verveinc.com
natuurlijkdoodcentrum.org

If its not spin and just an affiliate, which I know is not true, but if it were true the operators should be ethical and consider not doing business with affiliates that deface other sites.

and yes...

I am both a pissed of player and affiliate :)

It really great when an affiliate program decides to drop your commission because you are not bringing in enough players and the main reason this is happening is because they are hacking and spamming Google so that small affiliates have no chance.

I just needed to get this out and I feel better already. Revenge is not my intention as I do not think this will have any marked effect on the millions that Spin make, nor do I think it will stop them from continuing

their assault on Google.

check-this.jpg

See screenshot. Those are really great results...NOT

kind regards
MercyMe
 

mercyme

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
UK
Here are 3 affiliate ID's

spinpalace.com/aus/?s=wgs26588&a=wgsaffad42339
spinpalace.com/aus/casino-games/pokies/?s=wgs26588&mid=14624
rubyfortune.com/lp/online-pokies/?s=wgs26588&a=wgsaffad42340

from

aussiebluecasinos.com
 
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vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Here are 3 affiliate ID's



from

aussiebluecasinos.com

It looks like an affiliate, but I have also noticed that for Spin Palace and Ruby Fortune on that site, the affid counter goes up by just one, and then there is the middle one that has a different format of wagershare tag.

This is not the work of a small time affiliate, but a rather big one running several affiliate accounts within the program.

The next step might be to get the tags from all these sites quoted, and see if it is the same small set of affiliate accounts running all of them.

Of course, Palace Group know who is behind wgsaffad42339, wgsaffad42340, and we now know that what they are doing has gone beyond mere black hat SEO. They are CRIMINALS who are hacking the websites belonging to others, or stealing the content from others to use to pad out their own sites.

Since they are licensed within the EU, the criminal aspect (computer misuse act here in the UK) is for the police to handle, but because they have not attacked .UK domains, they are unlikely to take this further, and I doubt the LGA are going to do much either. It is currently outside the jurisdiction of the UK gambling commission, but this will change around 2015 if secondary licensing comes in.

For now, a formal complaint to Bryan or Max is in order, since you have identified at least two affiliate tags involved, so Palace group have enough to act on and shut down the offender.

Some years ago, Jackpot Factory made the mistake of engaging in similar dark arts of the black hat SEO. They got caught, and found themselves out of the accredited section and in the pit for "unethical business practices". This fate would befall Palace Group provided enough evidence was brought to Bryan to demonstrate that Palace group either set this up, or are knowingly letting this go on.

It would have been better to present this evidence with the initial accusation, or argue towards such an accusation rather than opening with it and presenting the evidence later.

As an affiliate of course, you are so outraged at this that as well as seeking action here, you have cleared all Palace Group casinos from your own site, and explained to your visitors the unethical business practices that lead you to make this decision, reminding your visitors of course that casinos that screw over their business partners may also have no problem screwing over their players.

A bigger picture seems to be that there is so much spam and underhand marketing of Palace Group casinos, and that nothing is really being done to address this by the program, that ethical affiliates have no realistic chance of meeting their targets unless they too forget about ethics and play dirty like the others.

One complaint that has come from players here is that when they report spam for Palace Group, they are just not interested in tackling the affiliates responsible. Instead, complainants are told to click unsubscribe, or get better spam filters, and that the Palace group have no real power to police what their affiliates get up to.
 

mercyme

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
UK
Whats the process of submitting a formal complaint. The one thing I am worried about is that if I expose my website they will kill it !
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Whats the process of submitting a formal complaint. The one thing I am worried about is that if I expose my website they will kill it !


Who?

Palace Group?

There is no way they can "kill" your website. The worst they can do is sever ties with you completely, but they are ALREADY screwing you over.

You could send a PM to Max asking for advice on how to pursue this without compromising your own website. The PAB process can also be used by affiliates who promote accredited casinos, and I would have expected that even for non accredited programs, the "one shot rule" would still apply.

Maybe you could complain to Google as a webmaster yourself, but I have no idea how, and whether they would even take it seriously.
 

mercyme

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
UK
Who is max....

and they can kill me by getting a billion bad links to my site...

But I would like to take this further.
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 1998
Location
Bierland
I've flagged this for the Palace Group to investigate.

Obviously the Palace Group has a lot of loose cannons for affiliates. I'm hoping they can nip this in the bud ASAP. These affiliate accounts should be shut down permanently without any warning whatsoever.
 

mercyme

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
UK
I cannot wait to see their reply considering its their websites...and not some roque affiliate.
 

Simmo!

Paleo Meister (means really, really old)
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
England
This is not the work of a small time affiliate, but a rather big one running several affiliate accounts within the program....Of course, Palace Group know who is behind wgsaffad42339, wgsaffad42340, and...

Just an aside but thaosemay well be campaign IDs (tied to an affiliate of course) rather than affiliate IDs and running from the same account. Not sure if Wagershare's system works like that but many do.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Just an aside but thaosemay well be campaign IDs (tied to an affiliate of course) rather than affiliate IDs and running from the same account. Not sure if Wagershare's system works like that but many do.

Maybe, but the program have to be able to identify a specific affiliate from these tags in order to correctly allocate the players.

The long term problem with Palace Group has been that they don'[t really take any action against affiliates who spam, and this has shown them they can get away with it. This may well be why the fire is now burning out of control, with affiliates seeing that they can spam as much as they like and get away with deciding to see just how far they can go. Now, it's hacking websites, which moves into the realm of criminal activity here in the UK (Computer misuse act). Hacking sites that have nothing to do with gambling to serve a gambling page on top of the actual site when visited enters this criminal realm. Setting up hundreds of crappy banner farms to fool Google is not, as these are their own sites, and beating Google algorithms is not a crime unless hacking is involved.

"Killing" someone else's website with bad links WOULD be considered a criminal act, just as killing someone's site with a DDos attack would.
 

mercyme

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
UK
Here you go... one of the sites has been hacked again

Outdated URL (Invalid)

what it should look like

and what it currently looks like

hack1a.jpg hack1b.jpg
 
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vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Here you go... one of the sites has been hacked again

Outdated URL (Invalid)

what it should look like

and what it currently looks like

They have replaced everything on that site with a copy of their "mothership" site.

Does that site normally promote online gambling?

It's the exact same content on a large number of sites. Google algorithms don't like this either as it determines the sites are not genuinely helpful, so knocks back their rankings.


It also gives me the danger warning from my security package. It doesn't say why it has determined this, whether site content (could be false positive) or blacklist of known malware/scam sites (much more damning).

It's a better hack too, as you can't get at the underlying site as you can with IATLD.
 

mercyme

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
UK
Need more..

This is how it looked yesterday...

this is how it looks today.... hack2a.jpg hack2b.jpg
 

mercyme

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
UK
when I look at mindshare and knowledge connect at this exact moment both are hacked... or something.

No idea how they are doing this.

If you are seeing the actual mindshare website then there is cloaking involved.
 

mercyme

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Location
UK
Site is back for me now... mindshare.org.au

Here are the affiliate links from mindshare.org.au and knowledgeconnect.com.au

casino.betway.com/lp/aus/?s=wgs19021&a=wgsaffad0
spinpalace.com/aus/?s=wgs19021&a=wgsaffad0
luckynuggetcasino.com/au/?s=aff124610&a=affad11
au.royalvegascasino.com/aff/1200free/btag-ad502909/
/www.gamingclub.com/landing-pages/en/au/no-worries.aspx?s=aff124610
 
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