Typosquatting, also known as URL hijacking, involves using misspelled domain names to trick users into accessing a different website than the one intended. This tactic takes advantage of common typing errors made by users when entering a URL in their browser. The domain name used is a misspelling of a well-known domain, and the website accessed may offer a variety of content, such as rival or unrelated products, ads, or other causes. Legal registration for these misspelled domain names is available and can be exploited by those looking to profit from user errors.
WHAT is Typosquatting?
Typosquatting, also known as “URL hijacking,” is a type of cyber attack that involves registering a domain name that is a misspelt version of a popular website. The attacker’s goal is to exploit users who make typos while typing in the url of the legitimate site, by redirecting them to a malicious website.
How does Typosquatting work?
To carry out a typosquatting attack, the attacker buys domain names that look similar to popular websites to intercept traffic. For instance, a popular website like www.google.com may have variations such as www.gogle.com, www.googel.com, or www.gooogle.com. People might accidentally enter these variations thinking they are typing the correct url.
The attacker’s website may look like a genuine website or offer similar services to the original website. Often, the attacker will use the fake website to distribute malware, steal sensitive information like passwords, usernames, and credit card numbers. Some typosquatting domains redirect users to a competitor’s website, particularly in cases where the target company relies heavily on online sales.
How to protect yourself from Typosquatting?
It’s essential to be careful when typing website URLs to avoid falling victim to typosquatting. One way to protect yourself is by bookmarking the sites you frequently visit. You can also use autofill to avoid typing in the url manually in your browser’s address bar.
Another effective way of protecting yourself is by ensuring that your antivirus software is up to date. This will help protect you from phishing scams and malicious websites.
What are the consequences of Typosquatting?
The consequences of typosquatting can be dire. Companies whose brands are targeted may experience lost revenue and damage to their brand reputation. Their customers may unknowingly fall prey to malware attacks or land on competitor websites, leading to the loss of customers.
Individuals who fall victim to typosquatting may have their sensitive information stolen, including banking details, credit card details, login credentials for online accounts, and more. This information could be used by attackers for identity theft or to carry out fraudulent activities.
As a result
In As a result, typosquatting is a dangerous form of cyber attack that exploits common errors made while typing in domain names. Attackers use this technique to hijack traffic and funnel users to malicious websites, often posing as a legitimate website. It’s essential to be cautious when typing website URLs and to keep your antivirus software up to date. Taking these steps can go a long way towards keeping you and your data safe from malicious attacks.