You never know what you will find in your travels. dynamic-ip-181500198200.cable.net.co was content scraping me, so I decided to target it. It is part of the large Semalt botnet that started with keywords-monitoring-your-success.com and free-video-tool.comand then continued with fix-website-errors, with a sprinkling of buttons-for-websites thrown in.
Its host name is unique in that it is numerically very long. I could see remnants of a decimal IP address, but there was something odd.
Their pattern is not as predictable as required by a computer but that is precisely the point: They want to fool anti-bot software, but allow their admin staff to figure it out. If staff have a couple of errors it is no problem.
This is part of the keywords-monitoring-your-success.com, free-video-tool.com Semalt Botnet that spread to other South American hosts, but they have changed the referrer name slightly to keywords-monitoring-success.com. This host is tricky because they only provide the last 2 octets of the IP address, leaving me to guess the first two.
Here is my clue: customer-qro-199-67.megared.net.mx
There are clues to the same pattern used by megared.net.mx, using a variety of new 2 initial octets combined with the last 2 from the host name. While I only have this one IP as a content scraper, their reputation is one of an email spammer. I guess they moved into a newer but related business model.
Both keywords-monitoring-your-success.com and free-video-tool.com are Semalt tools for content scraping. This botnet is pretty extensive and tiring to kill.
The raw access log entries look seemingly legit, but being referred from the two Semalt tools, they could not be legit users.
These host names and Ip address, masquerading as valid browsers, took up a lot of my bandwidth. This botnet used mainly companies from Brazil such as TELEFÔNICA BRASIL, Vivo, Global Village, Brasil Telecom, Yawl, portalmail but also used a bunch of Italian and US companies as well.
Virtua.com.br continues to content scrape for Semalt. I have a separate research report on them.
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keywords-monitoring-your-success.com and free-video-tool.com: Semalt Botnet
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