Beware Of Google Analytics Referrer Spam!

If you are witnessing a lot of referral traffic in your Google Analytics data chart recently then look at it more cautiously because it is quite possible that the data is nothing but spam. Referrer spam is damaging Google Analytics data all over the world and it can seriously misguide you about the number of page views. A Russian hacker named Vitaly Popov is the mastermind behind this Analytics spamming. He illegally manipulated Google Analytics referral data to spread links of the websites he controls. However, he is not alone and nowadays many spammers are doing the same to gain monetary advantage.

Why is the attack happening?

You may ask “why would hackers create Google Analytics Traffic Referrals spam”? The answer is simple. Any SEO expert or website owner checks Google Analytics and visits the websites that appear in the data; thus, referrer spam can be used by hackers to generate traffic and sales leads for the sites they own or those websites that are paying them for such malicious activities. In fact, it can also be utilized for performing phishing attacks and spreading malware to your flawless website. So, our suggestion is don’t visit any website that seems suspicious in your Google Analytics data.

How is this happening?

Referral spam is not as difficult as it may seem. Some hackers are using hijacked computers in botnet and some attackers are running bots. The scary thing is expert hackers can emulate ghost visits without sending any bots to your site and thus, they become completely non-traceable. Google Analytics is a pretty old product and when it was developed hacking or spamming was not such a big issue, but now its security vulnerabilities are exploited by hackers all over the world. The hacker only needs to apply Google Analytics tracking JavaScript to misguide the servers with fraudulent information. Now, the tracking is done using a unique number for each property and the property can be either a website or an app. Let’s assume the property has a serial number UA-56789-2. In this case, 56789 is the account number and the last digit is the property number. The problem is this last digit is sequential and thus, very easy for hackers to manipulate using brute force attack.

What is the solution?

As of now, Google Analytics offers a spam filter just like the one we see in Gmail. But it needs to be updated to keep the spammers away. Besides, filtering is a complex process because if you implement the wrong filter by mistake, then your traffic data will get messed up completely. Google confirmed a couple of days ago that they are trying to find a simple solution to stop referrer spamming. Until then, you can try the spam filter but be careful to make sure you get the correct website traffic data. To know more visit our site.