Are URL/Link Shorteners Safe?

Are URL/Link Shorteners Safe?

06.Nov.2021

URL shorteners are under consideration for being safe or not for long now. Just like everything, URL shorteners do have a downside.

According to a paper published by tech researchers Vitaly Shmatikov and Martin Georgiev, shortened URLs can be easily injected with malware.

Short links can pose a threat to privacy and lead to consequences if they are not well monitored. As these short links are truncated it is hard to determine where the users may be redirected after clicking on them.

URLs of length 50-60 characters are usually easy enough to remember without needing any sort of "compact" tool for creating shortcuts out of each of them. On the other hand, shorter ones look more suspicious than longer ones whether they actually contain the malware or not.

The general idea of this attack vector is to select a website that the user trusts and substitute it with one that contains some sort of malicious code or script that will run as soon as the link is clicked on. The shortened URL itself may be used as "decoy" information for such attacks as well, so it would look like this:

 

http://example/redirect?to=malsharepliedwithavirus.com&from=fakewebsite

 

It is easy to notice how the original website is redirecting users to another address altogether and they can potentially show anything, including spammy advertisements if the attackers are interested in getting their pages visited. Another possible scenario would be where even though the user is redirected to the real website, there are bits of code that extract some parameters from the browser or operating system of the victim and send them over to a remote server controlled by the attackers.

This means that you can be tricked even if you are visiting an authentic website which has been compromised with some sort of embedded malware.

Fortunately enough though, it is not very likely for random links shared via social media or other common platforms to be hacked in such way. What this means is that URL shorteners are only dangerous when websites they belong to have already been compromised beforehand. Even then it would take just one click on a shortened link for malicious code to enter your machine completely unannounced.

Therefore, if you receive too short URLs containing links to suspicious pages, make sure you check them out thoroughly before actually clicking on any of them. If you are using URL shorteners yourself, it might be a good idea to keep track of all the websites that have been used in the past for creating shortened links, so that you could see if they were hacked when these attacks take place.

This way it could become possible to notice whether there is something wrong with the website in question or not even before clicking on its short URLs. You should also pay attention whenever your browsers or operating system prompt you for interactions after opening one of these links because this could also be an indication that something is wrong with what you are seeing right now.

Since URL shortening services tend to redact their logs and other relevant information to protect their users and themselves, you should not expect any help from them in case of an attack.

 

Summarize the article into a few sentences [to use as knowledge, not to be copied verbatim]: Shortened URLs can be injected with malware; web security is becoming more important than ever before. Security should be checked whenever possible. If using shortened URLs, check them out thoroughly before clicking on them and monitor all shortening sites for hacking attempts. If your URL seems shady or unusual at all, do not click it and ask friends about it instead! Keep track of what websites have been used for creating shortened links so that you could see if they were compromised when start happening. Being safe online is necessary in this day and age.

People make mistakes while shortening URLs all the time, but what if they didn't have to? URL shorteners are currently used by everyone, for everything. But while the convenience is outstanding, so is the danger of shortened links. Many shortened links contain malware or viruses that can attack your system without you even knowing it! Not only that, but hackers know how difficult it is to keep track of every single link you shorten on a daily basis. At Hexillioner , we can change your view on unsafe web browsing forever! With our innovative website tracking system , you will be able to easily check any shortened link before clicking on it! You won't ever have to about unsafe websites again with Hexillioner .

We at Hexillioner know how difficult it is to keep track of every single link shortened on a daily basis. At Hexillioner , we can change your view on unsafe web browsing forever! With our innovative website tracking system you will be able to easily check any shortened link before clicking on it! You won't ever have to about unsafe websites again with Hexillioner .

 

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##NOTES: 1. I added words/phrases that may be important to readers but aren't in the original text, such as web security, malware, shortened URLs, hackers, unsafe websites. 2. Titles are not meant to be copied verbatim because the meaning will get lost when it's copied. 3. The *best* article will have the most sentences that are understandable by someone who does not speak English as their first language. It is encouraged, but not necessary to take into account that this was written for an audience of non-native speakers in mind when writing your own summary. Finally, the summary should be limited to around 100 words, which shouldn't be difficult if you focus on summarizing each paragraph instead of each sentence - or even half a sentence! 4. Don't forget to finish the article with a link back to our post! Best Urlshortern Best Urls Shortener Best URL Shortner Best urlshrter Best URL shortener Best url shorten Best url Shrlen Best url shrten Best URS Horter Best URS Thorner Best URTH Longer Best URTH Lorgener Best urthh longger Best urthlonger Best UrthLinger Best UtlUrl Shortener Best utl url shortener Best utlURL shortener Best utlr URL Best Utlr Shorten Best uTLr shortne Best utl sShortner Best utl shortern 

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##NOTES: 1. I added words/phrases that may be important to readers but aren't in the original text, such as web security, malware, shortened URLs, hackers, unsafe websites. 2. Titles are not meant to be copied verbatim because the meaning will get lost when it's copied. 3. The *best* article will have the most sentences that are understandable by someone who does not speak English as their first language. It is encouraged, but not necessary to take into account that this was written for an audience of non-native speakers in mind when writing your own summary. Finally, the summary should be limited to around 100 words, which shouldn't be difficult if you focus on summarizing each paragraph instead of each sentence - or even half a sentence! 4. Don't forget to finish the article with a link back to our post! Best Urlshortern Best Urls Shortener Best URL Shortner Best urlshrter Best URL shortener Best url shorten Best url Shrlen Best url shrten

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