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LinkedIn URLs are being hijacked for phishing

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Cybersecurity researchers have caught hold of attackers using LinkedIn’s shortened URLs in phishing campaigns in order to trick email apps as well as the victims.

Researchers from Avanan have shared details of how hackers are taking advantage of LinkedIn’s automatic URL shortening service to launch a new credential harvesting campaign. 

In a blog post, the researchers shared an email that invited recipients to click on a LinkedIn shortened URL to enter missing details. 

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“The URL (shortened to lnkd.in) passed through the LinkedIn short URL service, leading visitors across several redirects, landing on this phishing page,” the researchers note.

Brand hijack

Citing a recent Check Point Research report that rated LinkedIn as the sixth most impersonated brand in phishing attempts around the world in Q2 2021, Avanan argues that the latest phishing scam can target any employee. 

“Plus, more employees have access to billing and invoice information, meaning that a spray-and-pray campaign can be effective,” believes Avanan.

The use of URL shortening service in order to redirect recipients to a phishing page, isn’t exactly novel. 

Earlier this year, investigating a malicious message sent via Facebook Messenger, CyberNews researchers uncovered a large-scale phishing campaign that used a URL shortening service to trick close to 500,000 Facebook users. 

In fact, security researchers have long been advising users against clicking shortened URLs in instance messages, emails, and other forms of online communication from unfamiliar sources. 

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.