Partnership secures Twitter spam threats

Partnerships are key to ensure users to feel safe when clicking on shortened links in micro blogging service Twitter.

birds tweeting

Bit.ly, a link shortening service popular with Twitter users, has formed partnerships with security firms to protect its users from malicious threats.

In a blog post, the company revealed that it had partnered with Websense, Sophos and Verisign in protecting the shortened links.

These can pose a potential risk, as in shortened form, the original URLs are masked from users. This means that users could potentially be taking to malicious websites without realising.

As well as Twitter, bit.ly provides link-shortening services to sites such as Facebook, CNN and Twitterfeed,

"Bit.ly is one of the largest sharing services on the web, with millions of shortened URLs created every day," said Andrew Cohen, bit.ly's general manager, in a statement.

"A large part of our success is due to the trust users have in our service and we work hard to earn that trust by warning our users about spam and malicious content."

Bit.ly will use the iDefense reputation service from Verisign, which has a blacklist containing URLs, domains and IP addresses that could host malicious activity.

It will also use the Websense Threat Cloud service so it can analyse the web content behind links in real time, using heuristic tools and reputation data. Finally, it will work with Sophos by using its behavioural-analysis technology.

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