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Block Language Spam (secret.ɢoogle.com) in Google Analytics

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language-spam-secret-%c9%a2oogle-com-you-are-invited-enter-only-with-this-ticket-url-copy-it-vote-for-trump

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

Threat Summary

NameLanguage Spam
TypeGoogle Analytics Spam, Referral Spam
Short DescriptionThe spam campaign is now being spread as “secret.Google.com-Trump”
SymptomsIts placement on the Google Analytics “report homepage”.
Distribution Method Through spam bots.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Language Spam

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin 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”:

language-spam-google-analytics

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.

Exclude All Hits from Known Bots and Spiders In Google Analytics

1: Filtering Language Spam in Google Analytics

Step 1: Click on the ‘Admin’ tab on your GA web page.

Step 2: Choose which ‘View’ is to be filtered and then click the ‘Filters’ button.

Step 3: Click on ‘New Filter’.

Step 4: Write a name, such as ‘Spam Referrals’.

Step 5: On Filter Type choose Custom Filter –>Exclude Filter –> Field: Campaign Source–> Filter Pattern. Then on the Pattern, enter the domain name – Language Spam

Step 6: Select Views to Apply Filter.

Step 7: Save the filter, by clicking on the ‘Save’ button.

You are done! Congratulations!

Also, make sure you check out these several methods to help you further block out this referrer spam from Google Analytics:

More Methods To Stop Spam Bots and Spiders In Google Analytics

1: Block Language Spam from Your Server.

In case you have a server that is Apache HTTP Server, you may want to try the following commands to block Language Spam domains in the .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*sharebutton \.com/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*sharebutton \-for\-website\.com/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*sharebutton \.to/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*sharebutton \-for\-website\.to/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*share-button \.xyz/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*share-button \-for\-website\.xyz/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*sharebutton \.net/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*sharebutton \-for\-website\.net/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*sharebuttons \.xyz/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*sharebutton \-for\-website\.xyz/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*Get-Your-Social-Buttons \.info/ [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*Get-Your-Social-Buttons\-for\-website\.info/ [NC,OR]

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ – [F,L]

Also here is a web link to some spam URLs being blacklisted from other servers:

Ultimate Referrer Blacklist by Perishablepress.com

Disclaimer: This type of domain blocking in Apache servers has not yet been tested and it should be done by experienced professionals. Backup is always recommended.

3: Stop Language Spam via WordPress.

There is a method outlined by security researchers online that uses WordPress plugins to block referrer spams from sites. There are many plugins that help deal with referrer spam, simply do a google search. We have currently seen one particular plugin reported to work, called WP-Ban, but bear in mind that you may find an equally good or better. WP-Ban has the ability to block users based on their IP address and other information such as the URL, for example.

Also, in case you feel like you may have clicked and been redirected to one of the domains mentioned in the spam message, and you believe your system may be compromised, you should scan your computer with a particular anti-malware tool. Downloading such software will also make sure your computer is safe against any future intrusions as well.

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Spy Hunter scanner will only detect the threat. If you want the threat to be automatically removed, you need to purchase the full version of the anti-malware tool.Find Out More About SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool / How to Uninstall SpyHunter

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Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum for 4 years. Enjoys ‘Mr. Robot’ and fears ‘1984’. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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1 Comment

  1. AvatarYouTube

    It was obvious enough just by looking at the letter “G” in “Google”. That character was as small as the other lowercase letters.

    Reply

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