So you all know there was that big hoo-ha in the USA over the controversial election involving Hillary Clinton and the even more controversial Donald Trump, well one Russian Trump fan took it upon himself to hack Google’s Analytics and tell the world’s Webmasters to vote Trump.
Well known Russian hacker Vitaly Popov developed a new technique to spam analytics accounts with hits to your sites from several pages across the world wide web that rotated every day, as he knew Google would react to the sources and shut them down rapidly.
This resorted in a large number of Google Analytics account seeing a language field appear with the message:
Secret.ɢoogle.com You are invited! Enter only with this ticket URL. Copy it. Vote for Trump!
What Was On This Secret URL?
People did what any normal person would do and that was to click the link, as human beings are well, just nosey I suppose. Curiosity and all that! Either way, once we had clicked the link Vitaly had won. He had accomplished his spammer’s mission and we were all greeted with the following screen.
So now we knew it was all obviously spam, but the clever thing is Vitaly had managed to do this by abusing a Google Analytics feature called Measurement Protocol. This service was designed to allow developers to send raw user interaction data directly to Google’s Analytics servers, however as you’ve probably worked out, some individuals have some other uses for it too.
Does This Mean My Site Has Been Hacked?
Now there’s no need to panic if you’re worrying if its classed as spam and could affect your rankings and your overall digital marketing campaigns. It’s Google’s problem not yours, so just sit back and enjoy the show as you realise that even though we all bow down to Google, even they too are vulnerable at times.
Oh and before we go, turns out Vitaly is a Pink Floyd fan too. The full Url for his”Trump, you did it!” site is the lyrics from Pink Floyd’s “Money”.
Here is the URL (or lyrics!)
http://money get away get a good job with more pay and you are okay money it is a gas grab that cash with both hands and make a stash new car caviar four star daydream think i ll buy me a football team money get back i am alright jack ilovevitaly com/# keep off my stack money it is a hit do not give me that do goody good bullshit i am in the hi fidelity first class travelling set and i think i need a lear jet money it is a secret %C9%A2oogle com/# share it fairly but dont take a slice of my pie money so they say is the root of all evil today but if you ask for a rise it’s no surprise that they are giving none and secret
Phew! Now How Do I Get Rid Of This From My Analytics?
Before you go, it’s easy to get rid of spam and other junk traffic from your Google Analytics so your business can track it’s performance properly and therefore allow you to make important decisions regarding your marketing strategy.
If you want us to take a look for you, please call us for a quick chat on 01526 354 259 or if you have more than one thing for us to look at, then please use our quote page and we will come back you with a tailored solution.
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