Misspelled websites aim to steal information – How Type Squatting Works

Typosquatting, is a term given to a person, or company, that buys a URL that is very similar to that of a legitimate website. People that buy Typo URLS are doing it for a couple of reasons, to sell it the legitimate website at an inflated price, bandwidth jacking where they steal traffic from typos, or the modern day tactics of stealing people’s identities.

Typosquatting relies on mistakes made by internet users when they input the name of a website into the address bar. The people that buy these typo-urls sometimes make websites that look identical to the site the user was trying to visit. Because the websites look identical, the unsuspecting user has no idea they are becoming a victim. The owners of these sites try to trick the users into releasing private information, credit card numbers, and even security numbers.

As the internet became more popular for shopping and for registering for services, the cybersquatters began to focus more on stealing peoples identities to anything they can possibility get a hold of. Best Buy, Tumbler, Facebook, Chase, Video Service Sites, etc.

An internet security firm is warning that there are several websites that give criminal the ability to hijack your system. The San Diego based Websense, Inc. has identified as many as 2,000 typosquatter websites that look identical to the real ones.

If you’re a Tumblr user, there are 3 different sites that look very similar to Tumblr.com  One of them is a survey website, this site tries to trick you into taking surveys so the owner of the site makes money.

A traffic stealing site is Tumbler.com, you are taken to a site where you can purchase cups. This version of the site does not look anything like Tumblr.com but it’s used as a Traffic theft site.

But outside of that, there are hundreds of other sites that can enable criminals instant access to your computer. Most domain names are part of a giant bot network. This network is used to steal passwords and obtain personal information to get access to your financial institution.

Other typosquatting domains try to use phishing schemes to steal your passwords and credit card numbers.  Then there are sites that claim you have won iPads, computers, money, or other different gifts – these sites will try to take information.

Websense said that some companies actually buy up domain names with misspellings to protect their customers. Amazon for example, registered Aqmazon, maxzon, amzon, and many more. Have you ever landed on a typosquatt site?