A familiar referral spam has released a new URL, named Share-button(.)xyz. Besides this URL, there are also other ones such as Get-Your-Social-Buttons(.)Info and Sharebutton(.)to which display relatively the same page and are all linked together. When visited, the site directly redirects to either of these linked hosts. The sites are advertised as a free service for website design, more specifically buttons for sharing content via the social media. Users are strongly advised to back away from this website and its web links and if encountered in spam messages to avoid it. In case you have this spam present on your device, we strongly recommend using the instructions after this article to get rid of it in the future.
|Short Description||The web page has been seen on many referral spams on predominantly medium sized and smaller blogs in traffic.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness the spam on various places of the website that is being targeted, leading to a Sharebutton(.)to domain which then redirects to a phishing website.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Bots.|
|Detection Tool||Download Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by Share-Button.xyz|
|User Experience||Join our forum to discuss Share-Button.xyz.|
Share-button(.)xyz Referral Spam – How Does It Work
Similar to Sharebutton(.)to referral spam, this one may be distributed via two primary methods:
Method #1 – Web Crawlers or Spiders
Spam by such spam bots is also known as web crawling or spider spam. This is because the software “crawls” through the web searching for various websites and spamming them based on a pre-configured criterion. These type of attacks on sites are not persistent because they usually stop after being deleted, the users banner and flagged. This type of spam is also more oriented towards massive spam campaigns on various websites instead of targeting certain sites for an extended period of time. However, if it is combined with other spamming methods it may become a headache.
Method #2– Ghost Referral Spam
Ghost Referral (also known as Ghost Referrer spam) carries the name Ghost because it aims to remain on a website it is spamming unnoticed and remote. This is conducted via exploiting the free hyper-text transfer protocol (HTTP) and spam the targeted host by connecting to it from a distance. This is very effective because the spam bot is not even on the website it is spamming. Some more sophisticated “ghosts” may even select what type of analytic to target and corrupt.
Why Referral Spam Is Being Used and More About Sharebutton Domains
These type of attacks are created for several different purposes. One of them is to lead users to third-party websites which may either want to have hoax traffic driven to them or other more devious goals. Some of those websites may pretend to be online retailer stores or other legitimate services to “phish” for user information such as credit card details or personally identifiable information. There are even some websites that may redirect you to websites that aim to infect your computer with malware such as Petya Ransomware or Google Redirect Rootkit Virus.
The network of domains with the keyword “Sharebutton” is reported by many security forums as well as blogs to be potentially harmful. It may be advertised via other spam domains that contain the keyword “buttons” in them. Here is a short list of related domains discovered in Cqcounter.com:
The network is reported to be primarily visited from India, but there are also reports of it being visited by other locations over the world such as Brasil, Turkey and Spain as well as the US.
Besides this, there are also other dangers for users, such as the script that the site may display to website publishers who may use it on their website. The script may contain tracking technologies or other malicious codes that may be unhealthy for the website and cause it to be flagged and removed from search results.
The code has been reported to link to other locations includion the “cdn.script(.)to/share6(.)js” script which is posted online. It is not yet positively confirmed that this script is dangerous for users but it links to various social media webites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, VKontakte and others and this may be an indicator that these may be phishing duplicates for passwords and emails. Everyone who has used such share buttons is strongly advised to change their passwords immediately.
Getting Rid of Share-Button.xyz Referrer Spam
When we get back to referrer spam, it is primarily oriented towards driving traffic to third-party sites. But this doesn’t meant that it can’t be harmful in other ways to both the users and web publishers:
- Quickly rendering website statistics useless.
- Flooding the website with malicious spam comments, causing the website itself to be flagged as untrustworthy and ranking it lower in Google search results.
- Infect it’s users with malware.
These are the main reasons why this type of spam shouldn’t be underestimated. To block share-button(.)xyz referral spam, we strongly advise following the after mentioned instructions to stop spam from this and other Share-Button domains: