THREAT REMOVAL

Get Rid of Snip(.)to Referral Spam In Google Analytics

Snip(.)to is yet another referral spam that is reported to have a high impact on Google Analytics statistics. Security engineers recommend that website publishers immediately add a filter of Snip.to since the website being spammed all over the websites is reported to be malicious. Users who have visited the website should immediately scan their computers with an advanced anti-malware tool since their systems may have been already compromised by this vile threat.

NameSnip(.)to Referral Spam
TypeMalicious domain being spammed by Referrer Spams
Short DescriptionThe domain may do various dangerous or unhealthy deeds to the PC activities.
SymptomsThe user may witness fake Java Update downloads as well as redirects to other potentially harmful domains.
Distribution MethodVia clicking on any Snip.to links (For example snip(.)to/?hrefasdi9/). By being redirected to it via a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Progra) causing pop-ups and redirects on the PC.
Detection ToolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
User ExperienceJoin our forum to discuss about Snip.to Referrer Spam.

Snip(.)to Referral Spam – What is it

Referral spam (or Referrer Spam) is a type of spamming attack that is conducted with different interests:

  • Bringing traffic to affiliates, vendors or other third-party sites.
  • Trying to infect as many as possible users while conducting the spam campaign.
  • Sent by a website of the competition with a purpose to devaluate the statistics of the site with spam.
  • Sent for other interests.

Mostly however, such referral spammers aim primarily to generate hoax traffic that is non-organic to third-party sites that most likely paid for the service. Security researchers warn that the Snip.to threat is real as the next malware that may infect a PC and measures against it should be immediately taken. The referral spam trend continues to grow and it is usually the most powerful during the start and the end of an year.

Experts outline two primary spamming methods used by spammers and spam bot software at this moment:

First Type: Crawlers’ Spam

This type of spam is conducted in waves which devaluate the data of small and developing websites very fast. This means that if the statistical data in Google Analytics is very low in numbers it can be changed quite fast by spam traffic and modified so that the bounce rate can increase very fast. Also the spam can cause rapid fluctuations in the traffic chart which further devaluates traffic data. This usually prevents the website vendor to analyse how to drive more traffic to his website. And If the spam is very massive and more than what the server that hosts the website can take, it may deny the website from loading, bringing it down. It is less likely to crash the website than to devaluate the statistics, making traffic-based research impossible.

Usually spammers using such methods are less aggressive and more aware which websites are warning them and trying to stop their spam. They may immediately stop spamming after being flagged.

However, there is an exclusion to every rule. There are those spammers who instead of stopping on the first warning may immediately continue to develop their spam. These are the ones who most often have to be flagged, reported and filtered in Analytics which may be a painful process.

Second Type: Ghost Referral Spam

This spam strategy is used on a massive scale because it has been reported to be more efficient. It may be the primary choice of Snip.to spammers as well. This very method has a goal to remain unnoticed and unfiltered for a long period of time on a website, just like a ghost.
An expert from viget.com who researches primarily spam, called Ben Travis indicates that this very spam is in fact not even present on the website it conducts its spam attacks on. There are even situations where the actual spammers have taken advantage or even created exploits in the free HTTP protocol info that passes by. This is a clear indication of the sophistication and skills that are being utilized in order to deal maximum spam for a maximum period of time in an effective and undetected manner. An experienced cyber crook may even have the ability to mask his whole http session as if his spam bots weren’t there.

Ghost referrer spamming software may also have the ability to send fraudulent http requests that are concentrated on different google analytics data, and allow itself even to not require special software to visit the targeted site. Researchers have also reported that this cyber threat can even fake how certain search results appear.

Snip(.)to referral spams can even change statistical data, traffic and duration times making the data utterly useless. This type of spam attacks are particularly dangerous for beginner websites mostly because they do not have that much traffic and their data can become non-relevant very quickly. The domains being spammed continue to increase by the numbers.

Snip(.)to – More Information About the Site

The website itself is a redirect and any user that is half competent with computers should stay away from its URLs.

At the moment of writing it currently redirects to an advertising website, called Propeller Ads Media.

Propeller-ads-referral-spam

This website may or may not be related or a part of an affiliate marketing scheme to advertise various websites or even malicious links using various methods.

When it comes to the advertisements distribution, some blackhat advertisers may choose to use Unwanted programs that are ad-supported and come bundled and unnoticed on user PCs only to display pop-ups, ad-supported search results and other forms of advertisements.

The website even states what benefits and features it has to future customers, using Skype and other third-party services to sign users:

advertiser-boostage

What is more the website may even collect and share certain user statistics with third-parties:

snip.to-information-disclosure

Just like other websites, such as the notorious erot(.)co domain, this website has been heavily reported for malicious redirects, phishing and other activities that are unhealthy for user PCs.

Snip(.)to Referral Spam – How To Protect Yourself

In case you have detected referral spam messages linking to snip.to it is a sign that you should act now to detect and block out this particular spam and the website it redirects to in you GA.
Security researchers like Carlos Escalera from ohow.com suggest to users to guide themselves by the following instructions in order to remove referral spam by Snip.to:

Method 1: Filtering Snip(.)to 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 – Snip(.)to
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:

https://sensorstechforum.com/exclude-all-hits-from-known-bots-and-spiders-in-google-analytics/

We have also researched the following methods to remove this spam:

Method 2: Block it from your server.

In case you have a server that is Apache HTTP Server, you may want to try the following commands to block Snip(.)to domains in the .htaccess file:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*snip\.com/ [NC,OR]

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

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

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

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

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

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.* snip \-for\-website\.to/ [NC,OR] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ – [F,L]

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

https://perishablepress.com/blacklist/ultimate-referrer-blacklist.txt

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.

Method 3 – 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.

If you are a user and you continue to be redirected by to this annoying website or keep seeing advertisements, by Propeller Ads Media on your PC, it is highly recommended to use an advanced anti-malware program to see if your computer hasn’t been infected with malware or other threats related to Snip.to. By doing so you also make sure you are protected by any future intrusions on your machine.

donload_now_250
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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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove Snip(.)to Referral Spam from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Snip(.)to Referral Spam

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Snip(.)to Referral 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Snip(.)to Referral Spam on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Snip(.)to Referral Spam there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Snip(.)to Referral Spam with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Snip(.)to Referral Spam from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Snip(.)to Referral Spam and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Snip(.)to Referral Spam:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Snip(.)to Referral Spam. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Snip(.)to Referral Spam. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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 Snip(.)to Referral 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Snip(.)to Referral Spam. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Snip(.)to Referral 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Snip(.)to Referral 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Snip(.)to Referral 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Snip(.)to Referral 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".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Snip(.)to Referral Spam will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Snip(.)to Referral 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.


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