Thursday, February 5, 2009

Phishers use TinyURL to trick users into accessing fake sites - 05 Feb 09

Phishers are using the TinyURL function to hide destinations from unsuspecting users.

Joey Costoya, advanced threats researcher for Trend Micro, claimed that phishers are now using TinyURLs to shrink long URL strings and hide destinations from users. In one example of a spam email, the link given is deliberately long, so the TinyURL function is used to protect the identity of the phishing site.

The phishing page is disguised to look like a banking login site, where the information entered by unknowing users in the login boxes is logged and stolen.

Jake Soriano, technical communications spokesman for Trend Micro, said: “The cybercriminal advantage of using TinyURL is that when this link is used in spammed email messages the exact URL of the destination is concealed from users until they land on the page itself.

“Recipients may then be tricked into clicking URLs purporting to be shortened versions of whatever company the spammer has chosen. Spam filter evasion is another key advantage.

“The good practice here is to first substitute for to get a preview of the final link before one proceeds to the page itself. The best advice is to altogether avoid clicking on links in unsolicited email.”

By Dan Raywood

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