A new report has found that URL shorteners could be being used to enable malicious cryptocurrency mining. If you don’t know what a URL shortener is, then you’re probably not at risk of this, however just for clarity; a URL shortener is a website that allows you to shorten a URL, this is useful for social media and emails for example.
You can do this via websites such as tinyurl.com, in fact, here’s an example from their website:
Turn this URL:
into this TinyURL:
According to Thehackernews.com:
“Once the required number of hashes have been achieved, the link behind the short-URLs further redirects the user back to the same page in an attempt to start the mining process once again, where the site visitor would trick into thinking that the web page has only been refreshed.”
See more from The Hacker News here- https://thehackernews.com/2018/07/coinhive-shortlink-crypto-mining.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheHackersNews+%28The+Hackers+News+-+Security+Blog%29
Or, via this short link- https://tinyurl.com/thisisnotacryptojackinglink
(we promise that the short link is not going to enable a malicious miner!)
It is of course very important that we are aware of this sort of activity. Unfortunately, these sorts of links are very hard to detect, so, as ever, if you notice your browser running slowly, or things on your machine don’t seem to be up to scratch, please bear in mind malicious mining. It is a real threat, one which we need to protect yourselves from. Keep your Antivirus software up to date and be vigilant online, that’s our best advice at least.