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.|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
Malware Removal Tool
|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 on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Language Spam in 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.
- Guide 8: Disable Language Spam Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
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.
Remove Push Notifications caused by Language Spam from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".
Language Spam FAQ
What is Language Spam?
The Language Spam threat is adware or browser redirect virus. It may slow your computer down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What are the symptoms of Language Spam?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your computer for viruses.
What types of Unwanted Programs are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to do if I have a "virus" like Language Spam?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most adware or unwanted program threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them from your browser and computer. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter is one of the reccomended anti-malware apps, that can scan your computer for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps and eliminate them quickly. This saves time when compared to doing the removal manually.
How to secure my passwords and other data from Language Spam?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment underneath the articles about your computer problems. We will try to respond as fast as possible.