No website, service, or platform is immune to being abused or exploited by hackers, and Google Analytics is no exception. To better understand how Google Analytics can help deliver payloads and bypass security protocols, one might want to learn how to use Google Analytics from a user's perspective first.
Detectify showed how Google Analytics could be used for data extraction by taking advantage of a site's Content Security Policy, where it's not abnormal to trust everything coming in or out from a google-analytics.com domain. Hackerone has even paid a bug bounty for these types of hacks.
In an oldie but goodie, a security researcher used a blind cross-site scripting attack, with the payload in a Google Analytics report attachment sent via email that had to be opened in the Gmail app for iOS devices. While it was the Gmail app that contained a mail attachment vulnerability, which would deliver the payload even without the user opening the file, Analytics was used to send the email and just goes to show that Google is not perfect.
Even an Analytics user's unique identifier (UID) can be used from phishing websites, and reverse Analytics UID searches can help with OSINT reconnaissance, so there are countless avenues of attack using Google Analytics. As a cybersecurity specialist, it's essential to know about all of these and find more ways of exploitation to stay one step ahead of hackers with malicious intent. As a white hat, these types of hacks can help secure a payday from a bounty.
Aside from the hacking and penetration-testing side of things, having a thorough understanding of leading analytical platforms is essential if you want to build or develop a website or marketing platform. Whether you're interested in promoting a brand or business or simply want to learn how to drive more traffic to your pages and increase conversions, having access to detailed information on the frequency and types of visits to your pages is crucial.
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