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Symantec Intelligence

2011 Trends: Cybercriminals Usurp URL Shortening Services

Created: 06 Dec 2010
Daren Lewis's picture
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Tomorrow (December 7) we will release our MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Security Report looking back at the changes in the threat landscape during 2010. We also use the opportunity to look ahead at potential trends for next year. In the days leading up to the publication of the report we have shared a number of these trends. This trend is the final in this series of posts:

Cybercriminals Usurp URL Shortening Services

URL Shortening services are becoming critical to the operation of social networks, particularly those that apply a character limit to user updates. In 2010 we saw a number of exploits using URL shortening services that lead to compromised sites.

In 2011 we expect to see more sophisticated attacks using URL shortening services either by a criminal enterprise gaining control of a significant URL shortening service or one of these groups setting up a service which appears legitimate, and operates in a legitimate manner, before being turned to malicious use. Even occasional malicious use cloaked within a legitimate service or legitimate-looking service could prove very effective.

Tomorrow: The 2010 Annual Report will be published

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