AVG (AU/NZ) Marketing Manager, Lloyd Borrett, said Twitter's recent global surge in popularity has encouraged spammers and other online criminals to take advantage of the tiny URL links used within Twitter to target unsuspecting users.
"To some people small or tiny URL links look more legitimate than longer links. However, they can actually hide suspect links from people who know what to look for. Small URLs make scam URLs harder to spot for Twitter users, thus the criminals get more people clicking through to their malicious web pages.
"The cyber-criminals have learnt from this. Over the past month, we've seen a significant increase in the number of spam e-mails using tiny URL links to camouflage links to poisoned and scam web pages. The bad guys now know they'll get more click-throughs if they use small URL links."
Borrett said AVG LinkScanner offers users the best defence against the use of small URL links to obfuscate poisoned links on Twitter and in e-mails.
"AVG LinkScanner provides guaranteed protection by scanning the web page of every link users click on. LinkScanner resolves the small URL and scans the final web page in real-time, instantly checking it for any potential threats before allowing the browser to display the web page. If a threat is detected, the user is warned.
"So AVG users can continue to click on links from Twitter and in their e-mails with confidence. Because AVG LinkScanner is already integrated into AVG's suite of award-winning Anti-Virus and Internet Security products, existing users are fully protected," he said.
AVG Technologies has a ‘neighbourhood watch' approach to LinkScanner research, encouraging its 80 million-plus users to opt-in and feed back information to AVG. This assists AVG in warning users about suspect scammy pages.
AVG LinkScanner is also available as a free standalone protection layer for any personal home computer, regardless of what other security software people are using. Users can download AVG LinkScanner at www.avgfree.com.au.
Media resources, including logos, box shots, screen shots etc., are available online at: www.avg.com.au/media