What Is a URL Redirection Attack?

December 06, 2023

What Is a URL Redirection Attack?

Did you know that a cyberattack happens every39 seconds? Around 30,000 global websites experience attacks every day, costing billions of dollars. Even with these alarming statistics, companies adequately protect only 5% of their files.

A URL redirection attack is a common assault method, enabling cybercriminals to divert internet traffic to malicious web pages. Some web applications have coding vulnerabilities that make it easier for hackers to penetrate their defenses. Fortunately, Compyl has a solution.

Compyl URL redirect attack

What Is a URL Redirection Attack?

Every web page has a unique address, officially termed aUniform Resource Locator. Each URL has multiple components. For example, the URL for the “About Us” page for Compyl’s website ishttps://compyl.com/about-us/. Everyone online uses URLs to retrieve specific web pages, but a slight change to any part of a URL can take users unknowingly to an alternate webpage.

Users may click on links because they trust the genuine website or company associated with them. Open redirects are normal navigational functions, but insecure technologies leave openings for attackers to abuse them and direct users to alternate sites. Because users are usually unaware of this deception, they think they are interacting with a legitimate website.

For example, In 2020, hackers used a fake URL redirect through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website tosend email recipientsto a phishing webpage. Security analysts discovered that the fake page downloaded an information stealer capable of mining confidential data from multiple applications.

Cybercriminals can use a redirect attack for many purposes, such as:

  • Hijacking user sessions
  • Delivering malware
  • Tracking or stealing personal data
  • Planting spam visible to all users
  • Corrupting data

Cybercrime poses real threats to consumers and businesses. Robust cybersecurity is a necessity to prevent URL redirection attacks.

How Do Criminals Deliver a Fake URL Redirect?

Hackers have various methods of enticing users to click on a malicious link to launch a redirect attack. The key is to make the fake sites look exactly like the ones users think they are visiting.


Most people are cautious if they receive emails from unfamiliar companies. Cyber attackers know this, so they use legitimate, trustworthy companies or organizations to mask their crimes.

Emails might contain links to malicious sites or attachments with embedded malware. Recipients who click on these links may receive prompts to log in, thereby inadvertently providing hackers with their credentials.

Social Media

Many businesses use social media pages, posts, and ads to reach desired audiences. Criminals can mimic these, tricking consumers into interacting with fake URLs instead.

How Can URL Redirection Attacks Affect You?

Any form of cybercrime can havedevastating effectson anyone involved. The consequences differ depending on who you are.

Individuals are often victims of identity theft, causing financial losses and untold stress. They can also suffer from reputational damage.

Businesses not only face these same consequences but potentially can experience additional or more severe repercussions. Organizations may face legal charges in the aftermath of cyber attacks.

A company’s financial losses caused by a fake URL redirect can come in many forms:

  • Expenses related to recovering lost data
  • Lost sales due to consumer distrust
  • Legal costs
  • Stolen intellectual property
  • Decreased stock value

Brand trust is a top reason consumers choose one business over another. URL redirection attacks can irreparably damage your brand because they undermine your trustworthiness and tarnish your reputation.

In addition, companies in highly regulated fields, such as finance and healthcare, may face heavy fines. These businesses may also face penalties for non-compliance.

Small- and medium-sized companies often lack the financial reserves to weather such losses, causing them to go out of business.

How Easy Is It To Notice URL Redirection Attacks?

Unfortunately, many redirect attacks go unnoticed by companies. This type of attack is subtle and difficult to detect without appropriate security safeguards. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, sometimes utilizing AI capabilities to create and deploy their strategies.

Companies may not realize they are victims until their website traffic drops significantly or their website hosting platform suspends service. You can prevent these attacks and their consequences by adopting cybersecurity best practices and relying on a trusted provider to keep your systems secure.

What Are Cybersecurity Best Practices?

Every organization and its employees can take several steps to strengthen their cybersecurity:

  • Creating strong, unique passwords and requiring multi-factor authentication
  • Keeping all software and firmware updated
  • Developing and enforcing security policies, providing regular training
  • Backing up data strategically
  • Monitoring third-party users and vendors with access to applications and systems

Companies should restrict sensitive information, allowing only key employees to access this data. You should also conduct audits. If you don’t have a chief information security officer, consider partnering with Compyl to protect your company against URL redirection attacks and other cyber threats.

As soon as you identify a threat, take action. Consider the nature of the threat, its impact, severity, and root causes. When you use Compyl’s platform, you will receive this detailed data along with recommended actions.

Do You Need Multiple Cybersecurity Systems?

Some companies use various cybersecurity measures to monitor different kinds of data. Although these solutions might be effective independently, it is challenging to maintain overall organizational security without centralized, consolidated oversight.

With Compyl, you can customize your dashboard to gain visibility, generate and implement custom policies, and ensure continuous compliance and security across several frameworks. Ongoing risk management uses quantitative and qualitative analysis and maintains incident and risk registers. Automated tasks can trigger responses while streamlining your workflows for improved efficiency.

Free Security Assessment Today

Why Choose Compyl To Protect Against URL Redirection Attacks?

Compyl developed a unique platform in 2017 to help our clients ensure information security and compliance. Our customizable platform uses an automation engine to continuously monitor all of your company’s data, notifying you immediately of any security or compliance concerns. This real-time threat warning allows you to fix the issues before they cause harm.

Our diligence and dedication to providing innovative security solutions earned Compyl a4.9/5 ratingand multiple awards with G2.Contact Compylto request your free security assessment or schedule a demo today. You can also reach us through live chat.

By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the use of cookies on your device in accordance with our Privacy and Cookie policies