Spammers use short URLs to steal data


If you're a regular Internet surfer, you would have come across at least 10 links a day that are shared by people. One cannot be sure that these links are secure and safe. Some of them could be vulnerable and lead to privacy threats.

Last week, News Today featured an interview of Israeli researcher, Barak Tawily, with regard to malicious links shared on social media.

In that interview, the researcher said not all shorten links are malicious. However, he did not deny that such links are not used by spammers.

"One does not need to use such shorten URLs and can simply fake the ones in display. So, instead of supplying users with long URL, you just create a short one," he said.

Though there are no indefinite Apps or programme to filter malicious links, a few steps can help you stay away from them. One cannot know if the links are malicious or not with the naked eye. But to an extent, one can avoid from being targeted.

A report says that links with underscore in the user defined URLs are mostly vulnerable. It can be opened in incognito tab, to stay anonymous. This will also hide the credentials and data used in form validation.

When users open these malicious links in home tab, it results in privacy threat. In addition, there are links which redirects the user to download app to access the service.

About 99.9 per cent of such apps are spam and are created to loot users' data including images and other files. Remember that incognito browsing is not meant to stay anonymous, it is to just to stay from malicious activity.