Question Hotlinking on the web --> possible security risk?


Level 1
Thread author
Sep 25, 2021
I recently came across a website that is hotlinking to files on another site, and I'm wondering if there's any additional risk if going this indirect route to a download.

I won't list the link for security reasons, however, here's a made up equivalent situation:

Website "Y" has a link to download a file. The link address shows as "". Upon clicking the link, the download notification shows the file is being downloaded from website "Z".

So the question is, it seems like clicking the link on website "Y" would be identical to downloading directly from website "Z". Is that the case? Or is it possible that website "Y" can somehow be injecting other data as a result of clicking the link on their site -- even if one is only approving the download of a single file that is identified as coming from website "Z"?

Edit: The question above is based on the assumption that website "Y" does not have inherent security risks just by visiting the site, prior to downloading anything. I'm really asking about their providing a link that seems to forward a request to another site, and what risks that process could involve.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: BryanB