Skip to content

Press Releases

AVG LinkScanner Solves Critical Social Network Hack

Twitter, Digg and Other Social Networks Threatened by Malicious Web Pages Hiding Behind Shortened URLs; LinkScanner Detects

Amsterdam, October 12, 2009 - The popular practice of embedding shortened URL into Twitter tweets, Digg posts and other social networking communications is being threatened by hackers who use the anonymity of these URLs to hide poisoned web pages. AVG LinkScanner® is the only security tool available today that can detect the presence of these poisoned web pages, because it tests the destination of each URL link in real time and does not rely upon blacklists that become outdated as soon as they’re created due to the ever-shifting locations where the bad guys hide.

AVG LinkScanner® is a free utility which can be downloaded at

“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,” said Roger Thompson, chief research officer at AVG Technologies.

Link shortening services have become popular tools to fit URLs within the 140-word Twitter limit. There are now more than a dozen URL shortening services available, with some built right into Twitter clients and other social networking tools.

Poisoned web pages are the latest way that hackers and spammers deposit malware onto computers in order to steal passwords or recruit computers into botnets. Computers users can get infected simply by clicking on a link, viewing an image, or sometimes just hovering their mouse over a banner. To avoid being caught, the bad guys typically infect a specific web page for less than 24 hours before moving on.

“LinkScanner is the only security tool that can detect the presence of poisoned pages hiding behind shortened URLS,” continued Thompson. “Only LinkScanner can stop people from clicking before it’s too late.”

Keep in touch with AVG

About AVG Technologies

AVG is a global security software maker protecting more than 110 million consumers and small businesses in 167 countries from the ever-growing incidence of web threats, viruses, spam, cyber-scams and hackers on the Internet. AVG has nearly two decades of experience in combating cyber crime and one of the most advanced laboratories for detecting, pre-empting and combating Web-borne threats from around the world. Its free, downloadable software allows novice users to have basic anti-virus protection and then easily upgrade to greater levels of safety and defense when they are ready. AVG has nearly 6,000 resellers, partners and distributors globally including, CNET, Cisco, Ingram Micro,, Wal-Mart, and Yahoo!


Talk to Us

Rich Mullikin
Rocket Science PR, for AVG
Tel: +1 415 464 8110 x216
Mobile: +1 925 354 7444

Aimee Schoaf
AVG Technologies -- USA
Mobile: +1 480 236 8428

Gladys Elia
AVG Technologies -- Europe
Telephone: +44 07792 135718