Spot the tiny phishing trick

The TinyURL service allows you to enter a long URL, such as one for a particular Google Maps location, and convert it into a short, easy-to-type or e-mail link. Good for sending links -- or as Trend Micro reports, for hiding a malicious Web site URL in a phishing e-mail.

The TinyURL service allows you to enter a long URL, such as one for a particular Google Maps location, and convert it into a short, easy-to-type or e-mail link. Good for sending links - or as Trend Micro reports, for hiding a malicious Web site URL in a phishing e-mail.

Trend says the dirty trick, which it first reported on in February, is becoming more popular and spreading into multiple languages. The ruse is intended to make it more difficult for the wary to immediately peg a link as suspicious when they mouseover a link to see where it actually goes.

Of course, you'd probably be just as suspicious if you receive an e-mail that purports to be from your bank but uses a TinyURL, but Trend also writes that the technique is being used for IM-based phishing with messages that pretend to come from a friend.

If you suspect that a TinyURL link you've received might hide a malicious URL, you can check it out without clicking the link. First copy the link to the clipboard and paste it into your browser's address bar, or type it in directly. Then type 'preview' before the address, so that http://tinyurl.com/g0hz would become http://preview.tinyurl.com/g0hz, for example.

Then hit enter to bring up a preview page, and you'll see the full URL used for the TinyURL link without actually bringing up the linked-to page. If you want to see if that link has been reported as a phishing site, or if you want to report it as such yourself, cut and paste the (real) link and enter it on http://www.phishtank.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags tinyurltrend microphishing

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Erik Larkin

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?