Malicious referral links are targeting Google Analytics data
If you’re a webmaster, website owner, or someone responsible for monitoring Google Analytics data you are probably familiar with referrer spam and have seen it before. For those who don’t know, referrer spam is a desperate SEO tactic that mostly mistrustful websites employ to gather web visitors and potentially create customers. Referrer spam sends traffic bots and crawlers or fake ghost-links to your Google Analytics account. It makes it appear as if visitors were referred to your website from another website even though they weren’t.
Referrer spam typically bolsters programs, browser plugins, social media buttons, hosting websites, SEO websites, and other online tech-related content that essentially targets people who own websites, maintain website data, and have access to Google Analytics data. However, we have been noticing over the past few weeks that malicious referral links are targeting Google Analytics data. The malicious referral links forward people who visit them through an advertising platform domain and then to the actual full-page advertisement on another website.
Some of the malicious referral links will direct you to advertisements that promote rogue programs, survey-scams, steaming movies, and more. You might even be directed to tech-support scam websites that try to ambush you into believing that your computer is infected with malware so that you will call a rogue tech-support telephone number for help. Other websites that you can be directed to will attempt to phish personal information from you.
It is recommended to avoid malicious referrer spam links that appear in your website’s Google Analytics data. Do not visit the malicious links in your browser and try to use different methods to block the spam from appear in your data. If you have visited a malicious referral link we suggest that you scan your computer with reputable security programs like Malwarebytes or Norton Internet Security in order to locate and remove any threats and block malicious links and programs from affecting your computer in real time.