[ExI] Phishing URLs

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed Aug 22 13:11:57 UTC 2007

On 8/22/07, Lee Corbin wrote:
> 1. when posting links, try to go to the web page
>    (wherever you found it), and copy the URL that
>    appears in your browser window, instead of the
>    potentially dangerous extended link
> 2. when about to click on an html posted link,
>    like appeared in that email (below), examine
>    where the link really takes you before clicking
> 3. avoid posting in HTML items such as the underlined
>    "The Enthusiast" below, and post instead a string
>    beginning with "http://" that takes you somewhere
>    you'll gamble will be safe.

To be clear -
The example quoted is not a Phishing URL.

This is clickthrough tracking, used by thousands of companies. These
links are extremely common and appear in many net magazines. They want
to know what links their readers or customers click on, so that they
can provide more of what interests their customers.
This is similar to tracking advert clicks.

It is unfortunate that Phishing uses a similar link redirection
technique, where the underlying link is different and takes you to
e.g. an imitation bank site, where you will be asked to supply
personal info.

As you say, posting in text only, and avoiding HTML, is a simple
solution, recommended by many mailing lists.

Modern browsers now check links against lists of known phishing sites
and will pop up a warning if a fraudulent site is detected. Spam
filters should also detect almost all phishing emails. Before visiting
a site, you can also check with McAfee Site Advisor and scan the site
for viruses or spyware with Dr. Web.


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