A new wave of new Google Analytics spam has been registered. It appears that spammers are continuously reinventing their methods, as seen in this new instance which displays some relatively new spam behavior. This spam has been dubbed “language spam”.
Image Source: ohow.co
|Type||Google Analytics Spam, Referral Spam|
|Short Description||The spam campaign is now being spread as “secret.Google.com-Trump”|
|Symptoms||Its placement on the Google Analytics “report homepage”.|
|Distribution Method||Through spam bots.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Language Spam.|
Researchers first noticed it on November 8, and the timing wasn’t a coincidence, as visible by the message it contained:
Secret.ɢoogle.com You are invited! Enter only with this ticket URL. Copy it. Vote for Trump!
This text is displayed in the dimension where language information is shown. This type of information is sent automatically to Google Analytics as short abbreviations, like “en”, “es”, “fr”. The technique has been deployed together with referral spam. These domains have been listed as source/medium:
abc.xyz, brateg.xyz, budilneg.xyz, begalka.xyz, bezlimitko.xyz, bukleteg.xyz, boltalko.xyz, biteg.xyz
As researchers point out, this is indeed “a two-vector attack trying to get the user’s attention to both the fake referrer domains and to the language report, probably because of its prominent placement on the Google Analytics “report homepage”:
Apparently, the spam campaign has been updated recently and is now being spread as “secret.Google.com-Trump”, or secret.ɢoogle.com.
Language Spam may be spread in two ways:
#1 – Web Crawler Spam
Web crawler spam, also known as spider, is when the the spam bot essentially ‘crawls’ the Web looking for opportunities in the face of underdeveloped or small websites. It is not very persistent since the spam bot is usually programmed in a massive scale to stop spamming the same website after being deleted or flagged. However, there still may be advanced spammers that could develop such software into being more sophisticated.
#2 – Ghost Referral Spam
This particular type of spam is more sophisticated because it uses the free hype text protocol (HTTP) in order to take advantage of it and remain hidden and in some cases not even logically present in the website it spams. Ben Davis at vidget.com claims that such spam is not even present on the website it is spamming. Even worse, the spam may target different parts of the website.
Either way, referral spam aims to drive hoax traffic to third-party websites and most spammers do not really care about the type of websites they advertise this way, i.e. sharebutton(.)to.
How Popular Is the Language Spam Campaign?
The campaign is getting quite popular, and it is also generating quite the traffic. Research shows that the artificially generated traffic is more than the average referral spam generates. The campaign bounce rate is estimated as average and has a long average session duration – more than 30 minutes.
How to Block Language Spam in Google Analytics?
Fortunately, there is a way to stop this spam – by using the valid hostname filter applied for ghost spam. But because there is always the chance that some spam can get through, Carlos Escalera has created a specific filter with an expression that will prevent any unusual messages that are not proper languages.
You can also refer to the steps below, which efficiently deal with referral spam.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Language Spam from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Language Spam from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Language Spam from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Language Spam from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Language Spam from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Language Spam from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Language Spam from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Language Spam from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Language Spam
Step 2: Uninstall Language Spam and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Language Spam on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Language Spam there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Language Spam from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Language Spam and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove Language Spam via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove Language Spam files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Language Spam, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove Language Spam from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase Language Spam from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall Language Spam from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove Language Spam from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Language Spam will be removed.
Eliminate Language Spam from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.