Obfuscated URL

What Does Obfuscated URL Mean?

An obfuscated URL is a web address that has been obscured or concealed and has been made to imitate the original URL of a legitimate website. It is done to make users access a spoof website rather than the intended destination.


Obfuscated URLs are one of the many phishing attacks that can fool Internet users. The spoof site is often an identical clone of the original one in order to fool users into divulging login and other personal information.

An obfuscated URL is also called a hyperlink trick.

Techopedia Explains Obfuscated URL

Attackers usually use a common misspelling technique where they misspell a domain name to trick users into visiting. These obfuscated URLs can be a cause of malware entering a user’s computer system.

URL obfuscation is used together with spamming, redirecting users using a misleading URL that leads to a malicious site. URLs are strings of text that identify web resources such as websites or any kind of Internet server, so an obfuscated URL shows up as a meaningless query string to users.

This hides the real address of the linked site when the user hovers over the link. URL obfuscation is not always used for phishing or cross-site scripting, but it is also used by legitimate websites to hide the true URLs of certain pages so that they cannot be accessed directly by the users or allow certain procedures to be bypassed. It is also used as an anti-hacking procedure. This is termed as security through obscurity.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…