Link manipulation

Most methods of phishing use some form of technical deception designed to make a link in an email (and the spoofed website it leads to) appear to belong to the spoofed organization. Misspelled URLs or the use of subdomains are common tricks used by phishers, such as this example URL, Another common trick is to make the anchor text for a link appear to be valid, when the link actually goes to the phishers’ site.

An old method of spoofing used links containing the ‘@‘ symbol, originally intended as a way to include a username and password (contrary to the standard).[24] For example, the link might deceive a casual observer into believing that it will open a page on, whereas it actually directs the browser to a page on, using a username of the page opens normally, regardless of the username supplied. Such URLs were disabled in Internet Explorer,[25] while the Mozilla[26] and Opera web browsers opted to present a warning message and give the option of continuing to the site or cancelling.

A further problem with URLs has been found in the handling of Internationalized domain names (IDN) in web browsers, that might allow visually identical web addresses to lead to different, possibly malicious, websites. Despite the publicity surrounding the flaw, known as IDN spoofing[27] or a homograph attack,[28] no known phishing attacks have yet taken advantage of it. Phishers have taken advantage of a similar risk, using open URL redirectors on the websites of trusted organizations to disguise malicious URLs with a trusted domain

Source : wikipedia

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