POPrl, a popular url shortening service, has been hacked. This has rendered all links run through it to porn and other unintended sites. Early morning yesterday, Twitterfeed, a popular RSS to Twitter service, tweeted that they were temporarily suspending Poprl from their service. Get Satisfaction reports show that Twitterfeed has been in contact with Poprl and they have confirmed that their systems have been compromised.
The url shortener market is heating up as of late, with bit.ly recently being adopted as the default Twitter url shortener (a title previously held by TinyURL). Bit.ly now leads the pack in url shortener usage, with TinyURL coming in second, and POPrl not even showing up on the chart (below). With this in mind, just how much is the POPrl hacking really affecting Twitter users? Only five Twitterers tweeted any concerns about shortned urls being lead to spam sites, and the folks actually posting the urls are apparently unaware that they are being redirected to a NSFW location.
Will this affect POPrl’s credibilty as a service? Could potential publicity regarding this hack help or hurt them’? Or, is their traffic and usage level not high enough to even place this incident on the radar for most Internet-savvy folk?
Tweetjacking is unfortunately not an uncommon occurance. Anyone with a Twitter account and a simple knowledge of url shortening services can jack your tweet, tweaking it to lead to a completely different landing page than the original tweet had intended. The reality is that Twitter, its users, and associated services are being attacked by these pranksters, spammers, and hackers. We posted about Tweetjacking before, but that was just on a single user scale. Seeing a system wide version is really scary.