Chinese Football Gambling Ads Flood Hundreds of Cloned Websites
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250 websites were cloned to promote gambling ads linked to Chinese football betting, potentially linked to tax-haven-based gambling companies and registered by a company known for similar activities.
Swedish digital rights organization Qurium uncovered about 250 cloned websites, seemingly created to direct users to China-linked football gambling sites.
Attackers copied websites of businesses, universities, and libraries, embedding gambling ads mainly promoting ‘188bet’ on these cloned sites.
Link to Gambling Companies in Tax Havens
The cloned sites predominantly feature ads leading to 520xingyun.com, which Qurium connects to companies in the Isle of Man tax haven, known for registering several gambling companies.
Allegedly, the ads link to Kaiyun, which operates under a UK business license managed by Gibraltar-based TGP Europe Limited. TGP Europe, known for providing white label gaming services, has previously faced citations for anti-money-laundering breaches by the UK Gambling Commission.
Network of Cloned Sites and Registrations
Most of these cloned sites’ domain names were registered by Gname.com Pte. Ltd, a company previously called out for similar practices by the World Intellectual Property Organization.
These sites bypass typical ad network restrictions, offering an alternative for gamble-site operators to generate traffic.
The clarity about the actual target audience for these cloned sites, be it the Chinese mainland where gambling faces a ban or the wider Chinese diaspora, is still lacking.
Nonetheless, the proliferation of such sites has detrimental effects on search engine rankings for the original sites, posing a significant irritant in the digital landscape.
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