Huh, this is interesting. There are many top-level domains these days; we're way past the days when the world consisted of
.gov. I hadn't realized that one of those TLDs is
Yeah, really. That seems like asking for trouble. People sometimes do legitimately download ZIP files from sites they trust, like GitHub. But maybe you're not really talking to GitHub...
This post does a good job of explaining how a stray
@ in a URL might ruin your whole day:
Can you quickly tell which of the URLs below is legitimate and which one is a malicious phish that drops evil.exe?
[...] As you can see in the breakdown of a URL below, everything between the scheme
@operator is treated as user info, and everything after the
@operator is immediately treated as a hostname. However modern browsers such as Chrome, Safari, and Edge don’t want users authenticating to websites accidentally with a single click, so they will ignore all the data in the user info section, and simply direct the user to the hostname portion of the URL.
For example, the URL
https://firstname.lastname@example.org, will actually take the user to
I didn't know that part about user info. Combined with Unicode fakes of characters you expect in URLs, this can send you somewhere very different from where you thought you were going.
We all know not to trust links or attachments from unverified sources (right?). But stealth URLs add extra risk; you might eyeball the URL in that email and decide "yeah, I trust GitHub/Dreamwidth/Google/whatever". Be careful out there.
Edit for info provided in a comment (thanks!): Also
.mov. This post does a good job of demonstrating how this can be exploited and catch even people who are careful.
I might just edit my hosts file to wholesale block these domains.