What is URL Hiding and how does it work?

Social engineering is a technique where attackers trick a user into stealing their data or planting something malicious in the victim’s system. In recent years, hacking into other people’s accounts has become very difficult. Here we are going to talk about phishing, but wait, almost everyone knows that. People should always check the links they receive by mail or SMS to see if they are from the original website or not, because phishing links look suspicious and most internet users are afraid to open links that are not reliable. Hackers are smart enough to trick your mind. Here is a description of URL masking technology.

In recent years, hacking other user accounts has become increasingly difficult. Nobody can easily hack our social networks or our bank accounts because day by day, computer security becomes more and more secure. Encryption is getting stronger and more security measures are in place; the work of hackers therefore becomes difficult. Here, social engineering comes into play. Social engineering is a technique where attackers trick a user into stealing their data or planting something malicious in the victim’s system.

In today’s life, everything is digital; we have another life on the internet. What if we got hacked by a bad guy? Here we are going to talk about phishing. But wait, most people already know the basics about phishing; people check the link they receive in email or text message to see if it is from original website or not, because phishing links look suspicious and most people are afraid to open links not reliable. It won’t work here. Hackers are smart enough to trick your mind. Here is the URL masking technology.

Koushik Pal, a security researcher talked about it in public and presented URL Hiding Technology. He says,

The URL can be masked easily, a phishing link can look exactly like a legit URL by a simple browser trick.

To clarify his concept, he created a bash script named “MaskPhish”, which became very popular in the social engineering category. MaskPhish can change any URL to another link. Attackers can use it to trick people, but on the GitHub page it is mentioned that it is for educational purposes only.

This article is for educational purposes only and we try to save people through education. If anyone misuses this information, they will be solely responsible.

How MaskPhish works

It works by using a browser redirect technique. If a URL contains ‘@’, the browser ignores everything before ‘@’. To clarify things, you can type this URL in your browser and check what happens ‘https://[email protected]‘ this link will not take you to facebook.com but will take you to hackernoon.com. This is the basic idea of ​​the MaskPhish tool.

MaskPhish uses more advanced things like shortening the URL and inserting social engineering keywords into it, and we can see that in the following screenshot:

It is very harmful for everyone. A perfect Google.com URL is not really Google.com. What could be more dangerous than that? What if we didn’t notice the URL after opening the link in our browser? We would be trapped.

How to Avoid MaskPhish Attacks

  • Do not open any URL received by email or SMS or on any other social network.
  • A link that looks perfect may be a phishing link.
  • We always have to double-check the links when the web page requests a connection.
  • Don’t trust anyone.

That’s all for today, we hope you enjoyed it, stay safe. Please do not click on any links received in the messages.

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