Tuesday, June 16, 2009

URL Shortening Service Hacked, Millions Redirected

Cligs, a URL-shortening service similar to TinyURL and bit.ly was hacked over the weekend redirecting millions of users to an unintended destination.

Cligs acknowledged the hack, on Monday which had exploited a vulnerability in its editing function. "I've identified the hole and disabled all cligs editing for now and I'm restoring the URLs back to their original destination states," said Far, Cligs' creator, in a blog post. "However, the most recent backup is from early May, and so we may have lost all URLs created since then. My daily backups with my host were turned off for some reason, which is another story."

According to ComputerWorld.com the hack resulted in more than 2.2 million Web addresses being redirected to Kevin Saban's blog, which is part of the Orange County Register's Web site. Noticing a dramatic upswing in traffic, Saban who just happens to be a Cligs user and use the service to shorten URLs for his Twitter messages, contacted Pierre Far, the creator of Cligs.

At this time its relatively unclear as to why the hacker chose to redirect unsuspecting visitors to Saban's blog however it doesn't appear as though he was involved.

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