Hop Rocks a/k/a HOP (www.hop.rocks) is one of the hundreds of digital marketing agencies facilitating scammers and cybercrime activities. The venture was founded in 2019, has its headquarters in Dubai, UAE, and an office in Sri Lanka. On the website, one looks in vain for the details about legal entities or people behind Hop Rocks. Most recently, fake news website operators have hired the agency to place their fake news articles on reputable online news sites. One of the agency’s clients is the cybercrime kingpin Gery Shalon and his organization.
Gery Shalon, a Georgian with an Israeli passport, has been indicted in the U.S. since 2015 for the hacking of several U.S. financial institutions and financial publications. Nearly 80 million customer records were stolen which Shalon and his cybercrime organization subsequently used to conduct a vast pump-and-dump scheme with penny stocks. Undoubtedly, Shalon is an expert in producing and distributing fake news.
Currently, Shalon and his Russian-Israeli partner Vladislav Smirnov and their rat pack are also in trouble with criminal authorities in Europe. They are listed as suspects in the E&G Bulgaria Case. Their partner Gal Barak has already been sentenced to several years in prison in this connection.
Hop Rocks is only one of several agencies Gery Shalon uses to defame his enemies – and these include FinTelegram and the European Fund Recovery Organisation (EFRI), in addition to his former partner. FinTelegram receives additional traffic to its website from this fake news. In this respect, we see this as quite funny.
However, we advise serious online media to be very careful when entering into agreements with Hop Rocks.