AVG LinkScanner Now Scans Shortened URLs
Article by George Norman
On 15 Oct 2009
AVG LinkScanner is a free piece of software provided by AVG Technologies, company that specializes in providing antivirus and internet security protection for home and business users. LinkScanner is designed to work alongside the user's currently installed security solution in order to provide an extra layer of real-time protection. It does this by analyzing links and determining whether they lead to a malicious website.

That task is a relatively simple one when the whole link is displayed. But popular online services like Twitter or Digg do not display the whole URL. Popular practice with these services is to use shortened URLs. People with malicious intent could exploit the anonymity of these URLs to lure unsuspecting users to poisoned web pages. For that reason AVG Technologies though it fitting that LinkScanner be able to scan shortened URLs as well.


It should be noted that AVG LinkScanner scans URLs in real-time, it does not rely on blacklists. These blacklists are pretty much useless. There are, on a daily basis, about 2 million web pages out there that harbor hidden threats, explained AVG Technologies. More than half of them shut down and move to some other location on a day to day basis, so blacklists become outdated as soon as they are released. Only by scanning links in real-time can a properly good level or protection be provided. It is no wonder then that AVG LinkScanner downloads have exceeded the 500,000 mark.

“The problem with shortened links is that they usually don’t bear any resemblance to the original URLs, which means that users don’t always know what they’re clicking. People click with the intention of going to a specific site, but the link can be easily hacked to send people to a site containing Trojans, spyware, rootkits and other malware instead,” explained Chief Research Officer with AVG Technologies, Roger Thompson.

LinkScanner is the only security tool that can scan shortened URLs and it can be downloaded for free here.

Tags: AVG Technologies, AVG LinkScanner, Shortened URL
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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