Cligs, a URL shortening service popular among users of micro-blogging services like Twitter, was attacked recently. The attack redirected 2.2 million of the miniature URLs to a single URL.
Cligs, a popular URL shortening service for Twitter users, was hacked
recently in an attack that exploited a security hole to redirect
2.2 million URLs
"Late last night/early this morning, a security hole in the Cligs
editing functionality was discovered and was exploited by a malicious
to a June 15 statement
on the Cligs' Website. "The attack edited most URLs
on Cligs to point to a single URL hosted on freedomblogging.com."
For Twitter users, URL shortening services such as TinyURL and Cligs have
become a staple because they allow users to Tweet long Web addresses and stay
within the character limit imposed on messages. Such services, however, have
attracted the attention of security researchers and attackers alike.
Sophos raised the alarm over a phishing
late last month that used a TinyURL link to lure users to a rogue
"It's not yet apparent what the intentions were of the hackers [in the
Cligs case], but they could have just as easily redirected millions of
shortened urls to a Website hosting malware," blogged Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant at Sophos. "That's one of the reasons why it can be
helpful to run a plug-in that will expand shortened urls before you click on
"As an aside, we frequently see spammers abusing shortened url services to
try and make life harder for anti-spam filters trying to determine if a link is
going somewhere unsavoury," he added.
According to Cligs, the attacker's IP address appears to have come from
Canada. The company identified the security hole yesterday and began the
process of restoring the URLs back to their original destinations. However, the
company admitted that its most recent backup is from early May, so all URLs
created since then may be lost.