Tuesday, February 16, 2010

URL Shortening and your personal security and you

As most of you who follow security chatter are aware, URL shortening services like bit.ly and tinyurl.com are somewhat frowned upon by the security community:
http://dilbrent.com/r/2 [wikipedia.org]

I won't bore you with the tedious details. I'll let the wikipedia article do that.

What's unusual is that despite the general public's universally near-instantaneous adherence to the advice of the security community, URL shorteners are actually gaining in popularity.

To thwart this growing threat I have written my own URL shortener that not only supports a tiny subset of the functionality of the "big name" shortening services, but still provides basically the same fundamental security flaws.

The difference is that, since I wrote it myself, if it suffers from link rot or torrential virus distribution, or is simply not even responding to basic requests, you can rest assured that these issues are safely being managed by me, rather than some faceless conglomerate that cares more about the bottom line than providing a sub-par service.

My tweet announcing my new URL shortener:
http://dilbrent.com/r/3 [twitter.com]

A link-back to this blog post:
http://dilbrent.com/r/unlike-the-big-name-services-the-dilbrent-url-shortening-service-supports-arbitrarily-long-link-urls/ [blogspot.com]

Notice in my previous example that the shortened URL can be as long as you like. Try getting that from bit.ly. I suspect that they will just laugh at you if you ask.

Anyway, to take advantage of this quantum leap forward in URL shortening, simply send me the URL you wish to shorten and the URL extension you would like, and I will let you know when it's up. Please allow 3-5 days for a response.

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