WOT fails to detect a harmful site linked through goo.gl or bit.ly

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MightyPork
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:04 pm

WOT fails to detect a harmful site linked through goo.gl or bit.ly

Post by MightyPork » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:04 pm

WOT fails to identify links shortened using bit.ly, goo.gl and similar services.

Here's an example: hxxp://bit.ly/1bxhueY

Which resolves to: hxxp://www.cloudways.com/blog/infographic-php-vs-asp-net/

The target site has a bad rating and a popup is shown, but that's too late - the computer could've been already infected by the malicious content.

WOT apparently doesn't see behind the corner, thus effectively fails to detect shortened links to harmful sites. One solution would be to evaluate URLs during redirects, and show the warning before loading the target page.

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Myxt
Posts: 2088
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:18 am

RE: WOT fails to detect a harmful site linked through goo.gl or

Post by Myxt » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:45 am

Welcome to WoT. First things first ...

What you term a "fail" is not. It simply is not in the design at present.

To say "that's too late" is quite correct. WoT is designed to provide an alert; it does not provide firewall or anti-malware protection. If you plan to visit unrecommended or unfamiliar web sites, you need at minimum a strong, currently updated security suite which stops inbound and resident threats.

If you regularly visit many short-links, it may not seem practical but, for the very reason you mentioned, it is prudent to run them through an expansion service such as http://longurl.org/ - the most versatile in my opinion - before you visit them. LongURL also displays all of the redirects from the original short-link to the final landing page - I have seen up to five.

To get an idea of the complexity of coding for these expansions, look at http://longurl.org/services - there are at least 330 public short-link services and many more private ones, many of which use proprietary (nonstandard) methods.

Twitter is one of the few short-link specialists which goes the extra mile to dynamically expand short-links for you, but mostly just their own t.co links. The bottom line is that your computer needs to be armored, especially if you go out hunting.

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Sami
Posts: 3506
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:43 am

RE: WOT fails to detect a harmful site linked through goo.gl or

Post by Sami » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:32 am

The add-on does resolve short URLs for ratings next to links, for example. Where exactly do you see this problem?

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Apollo702
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RE: WOT fails to detect a harmful site linked through goo.gl or

Post by Apollo702 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:39 am

I have an incredibly simple answer to the problem: Protect your computer better and stop using shortened links on an undefended browser. That is asking for trouble.

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th3br41n
Posts: 614
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:45 am

RE: WOT fails to detect a harmful site linked through goo.gl or

Post by th3br41n » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:27 pm

@MightyPork
The WOT add-on does not block URLs, the behavior you are experiencing is by design and it is not due to the short link.
Good shortening services allow a "preview" by adding a plus (+) at the end of the short URL, for example:

hxxp://bit.ly/1bxhueY+

Image

the WOT add-on should provide protection on links on preview pages for the main shortening services.

MightyPork
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:04 pm

RE: WOT fails to detect a harmful site linked through goo.gl or

Post by MightyPork » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:29 am

<quote user="apollo702">
I have an incredibly simple answer to the problem: Protect your computer better and stop using shortened links on an undefended browser. That is asking for trouble.
[/quote]

I use linux and have a firewall installed, so the possible malware doesn't really concern me, I just wanted to point out a possible weak spot of WOT.

Btw the red wheel icon is also not shown on links in Google+ posts.

MightyPork
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:04 pm

RE: WOT fails to detect a harmful site linked through goo.gl or

Post by MightyPork » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:30 am

<quote user="sami">
The add-on does resolve short URLs for ratings next to links, for example. Where exactly do you see this problem?
[/quote]

In Google+ posts

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Sami
Posts: 3506
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:43 am

RE: WOT fails to detect a harmful site linked through goo.gl or

Post by Sami » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:12 am

<quote user="mightypork">
In Google+ posts
[/quote]

That explains the issue. The add-on doesn't add ratings next to links in Google+ at the moment. We will look into supporting it.

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