Spammers now in WP ‘Clicks’ stats too

The price of being a blogger is … eternal spam. Now, it seems, spammers have found a way to insert bogus clicks in our “Clicks” stats.

My stats today show that somebody clicked on a link to “interyield.jmp9 … ” No such link exists on my blog. At least not one that I knowingly set up. I used WP’s Omnisearch and it didn’t show up there. Not sure if it’s something Omnisearch should find, I started searching the forums. And sure enough, there are other reports of unrecognized links showing up in Clicks.

The best explanation, which I still don’t completely understand, was from macmanx, one of WP’s “Happiness Engineers.” Somehow a person gets infected from some browser add-on somewhere, and when they come through your blog and click on one of your links, that link, when it appears in your “Clicks” stats, gets changed to the malware’s link.

However it works, it apparently does the spammer no good unless I see and click on their link in my stats. I can’t believe these idiots go to such lengths to get into our stats for no better payoff than the remote chance that a few bloggers, when they see the odd link in their stats, will click on it.

Apparently there’s nothing we can do about it for now, but it doesn’t harm us. Just thought curious folks might want to know.

10 thoughts on “Spammers now in WP ‘Clicks’ stats too

  1. I don’t ‘like’ this at all, Susan ! No reflection on you, just the topic.
    As Timethief says (and who should know better?), things are taking a turn for the worse in terms of Automattic : its bloggers : its business. Well, OK, she didn’t say it in so many words … its’ my take. And further on which – this should be able to be eradicated by Automattic. Why isn’t it?

    1. I imagine Automattic is working on this as we speak. Approximately 20% of the world’s websites run on WordPress. That makes it a juicy target for spammers, but it also means WP can’t afford not to be on top of any and all threats, immediately. Not with clients like CNN, Time, Dow Jones, and UPS. Spammers will always be with us, just like robocallers and junk mailers. Just one of those annoying little facts of life.

  2. Yo! I didn’t say WordPress is taking a turn for the worse. For the record I love WordPress software and I think Staff rock! I posted what my worries were about the Reader and Stats. Staff will be asked my questions after sxsw winds up and they will provide answers and the rationale.

    I tagged the thread in question because I knew macmanx could provide a better response than I could. The click was caused by a visitors whose browser is infected with malware. Such infected visitors have no impact on our blogs.

    1. Glad you spoke up. I took M.R.’s comment to be her take on things, not yours, but clarification is appreciated. I, too, am very fond of WordPress and what it makes available to me. It’s like family and friends; I criticize only because I care and want the best for it.

      I still don’t understand exactly how this particular kind of malware does what it does, but if I did, I’d probably be retired from IT instead of from publishing!

  3. At first I thought these ‘clicks’ represented people who were actually clicking on my WordAds. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed when I learned the truth. :'(

    It’s not that big of a deal to me as it stands, but I could certainly see it getting out of control. If this becomes a more popular spamming tactic and thousands of fake clicks from a bunch of different sources start showing up, it would be quite a nuisance.

    I’m sure they’ll take care of it before it gets that far, though.

    1. I don’t see it as much of a threat either. Just annoying that these people have nothing more constructive to do with their time. Hopefully if they don’t get a good payback from it, they’ll stop. I’m more concerned about those readers who somehow got infected from their browsers and don’t know it.

... and that's my two cents