For those who don’t know, Google Analytics is a hidden (to site visitors) code that is placed on the website by the site’s webmaster. Most websites (54.7 percent of all websites according to an estimate by W3techs.com and an estimated 28MM websites according to BuiltWith) use Google Analytics on their site. The code gives the site operator very important statistical (not personal) information including how many unique visitors have come to the site, how many pages they viewed, how many minutes on average they spent on the site, what city/state/country the visitors came from and what language they speak along with lots of additional group information. It’s an absolute necessity that most site owners depend on to effectively run their sites.
Shortly before 10 p.m. on Dec. 22, this writer was more than astonished to see that in addition to en-US (English in US), en-gb (English in Great Britain), fr-fr (French in France), that in 62nd place, we had 1,485 visitors who spoke “Secret.ɢoogle.com You are invited! Enter only with this ticket URL. Copy it. Vote for Trump!” WTF was the first, second and third thoughts I had. The more I thought about it, the more concerned I’ve become. See the screenshot below.
Millions and millions of sites have analytics on them, so I wondered whether this line was in every one of them. So I asked an associate to check some sites that he manages and I was more blown away when not only did he find the line that I found, but he found even more, including a language called “Congratulations to Trump and all Americans.” Is this the work of a Russian or other hacker laughing at us after they’ve done their damage?
I trust Google as a company and I hope that millions of sites weren’t illegally misused in some way by hackers, Russian or otherwise to influence people in the election. Is this just some rogue employee(s) pressing their own agenda? Please share your feedback if you run a site and you see this line on your list of languages inside your analytics.
Screenshot of a separate site showing additional lines of text after the break.