Typosquatting

Before you know about typosquatting, you need to make sure that you have enough knowledge about social engineering. This is a technological defenses which cybercriminals are using for transferring money, collecting sensitive information, and other activity. This can be used in both ways online and offline.

Typosquatting is the social engineering attack that targets the internet user who has typed the wrong URL to their web browser while using search engines. Basically, it involves tricking users into visiting malicious websites with URLs, and it has the common misspelling of the legitimate website. Users can trick the sensitive detail by entering the fake website. Here organization will become victimize, and this site will get damage.

Hackers will make you feel that the site you are attempting everything is correct, and you can use your personal information like bank details, credit card, etc. in the portal. You will also feel that it is a well-optimized landing page that generates high revenue streams for the business owner.

How does this Typosquatting work?

Common person should not use their personal information with multiple sites then their online account will be at risk. To some extent, typosquatting creates confusion or simple human error; those are below:

EHA
  1. Typos: This is a very common error where while entering search information due to fast typing, some mistakes happen. Especially those who usually type very quickly, mainly rely on autocorrect and become the victim of the domain.
  2. Spelling errors: Sometimes, the user will not know the spelling of the brand name that time also, these can happen. Due to this reason, many businesses gets misspelled variants with their site name and goes to different home pages.
  3. Alternative spelling: It acts like an option where everyday products name and service have the potential which can make the visitors confused.
  4. Hyphenated domains: In addition, the domain name can be the reason for confusion. You always need to remember that you need to understand the genuine site and install the typosquatting.
  5. Wrong domain ending: Domain ending will be different for the different countries like .com, .cn, .co.uk, etc. If we talk about the organisation then, it is .com, .web,.org,.shop, etc. these all create the scope for typosquatting. So only this is important for the website operator to register with the top-level domain to prevent falling into the wrong hands. Typosquatters is a top-level of Columbian domain, which is similar to TLD and .com.
Typosquatting
Image Source : Anamoli

Types of Typosquatting:

Typosquatting domain includes:

  1. Imitators: This is a scam where a website passes into a real thing and makes the site correctly. If the site emulates the well-known bank then it will adopt the logo , page layout and color scheme of that particular bank. This site is mainly made to host the phishing scam and gather all wring log-in credentials with personal data.
  2. Bait and switch: The fake website’s purpose is to sell something to you which has the correct URL. There should be some digital purchases which is difficult to dispute the credit card with the credit card statement. Since this is the fake buyer will not receive any item, but they would have paid for it.
  3. Related search result listings: The business owner thinks the actual meaning of the traffic is their customers, and they charge as the cost-per-click base.
  4. Monetize traffic: Usually, fake website owners allow advertisement and pop-up to come to generate revenue from the web page visitors.
  5. Surveys and giveaways: The fake site always shows that it is gathering the customer’s feedback but in reality, it collects the customer’s information and data to steal.
  6. Affiliated links: A fake site always redirects the traffic back where the band gets through with an affiliated link to earn the commission from all the purchases via the brand legitimate program.
  7. Install malware: A malicious website installs the malware on the visitor’s device.
  8. Joke sites: These types of sites are especially very ridiculous where users intended to visit and the main intention to take revenge.

How to protect yourself against typosquatting?

As an individual, you can always minimize the risk instead of falling trap or become the victim. According to Sophos report, Microsoft’s typosquats were at 61%, Twitter 74%, Facebook 81%, Google 83%, and Apple at 86%.

Preventions

  1. You need to avoid clicking on unexpected emails, chat messages, text messages, and unknown websites. You also need to be very careful while clicking any link which you get from social media. If you get any doubt, then it is better that you avoid clicking.
  2. You have to avoid opening every email, especially when you are not sure about the sender and source.
  3. It is suggested that you use antivirus software to protect and monitor your system against malware. There are many cybersecurity programs that can help you to detect the threats and provide the extra protection from malware.
  4. You need to see all the links and carefully inspect all the URLs before clicking on them. You also need to observe if any extra or missing words, wrong spelling, suffix, etc.
  5. If you want to be safe, you can bookmark your favorite site to visit those easily with safety and you will not have any mistakes.
  6. You can also navigate your way where you can search them via the search engine.
  7. You can also use voice recognition software so that you can get the popular URLs quickly.
  8. Those URLs that you use daily particularly you can set it to the browser and use that in a daily basis.
  9. You can use the safe search tool instead of typing URLs directly.

Final thought

We hope the above information can help you to get the correct solution for you. Before you get to attack it is better that you take off prevention because prevention is better than cure.

Gurubaran is a Security Consultant, Security Editor & Co-Founder of Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.