Twitter has just announced that it is launching a new anti-phishing feature that allows Twitter’s Trust and Safety team to monitor all links submitted through the service for potentially malicious attacks. Part of the new feature will involve the use of Twitter’s link shortener twt.tl, which may now start popping up in some of your emails and direct messages.
At this point, it’s not really clear which links are being converted to Twitter’s twt.tl shortened links. We just ran a test at the TC office with two different links: one for an article on GigaOm, and another for a bit.ly link that pointed to a page on Google Buzz. The links I received on my Twitter client were both unchanged, but both were converted to twt.tl links in our Email notifications (obviously neither of them had malicious content).
From the Twitter blog:
Today, we’re launching a new service to protect users that strikes a major blow against phishing and other deceitful attacks. By routing all links submitted to Twitter through this new service, we can detect, intercept, and prevent the spread of bad links across all of Twitter. Even if a bad link is already sent out in an email notification and somebody clicks on it, we’ll be able keep that user safe.
Since these attacks occur primarily on Direct Messages and email notifications about Direct Messages, this is where we have focused our initial efforts. For the most part, you will not notice this feature because it works behind the scenes but you may notice links shortened to twt.tl in Direct Messages and email notifications.
Image via ToastyKen