NEWS FROM THE LAB - Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Typogoogling Posted by Mikko @ 09:11 GMT

Ryan Naraine wrote an interesting article on how Google is indirectly profiting from typosquatters.

We wrote about the basic problem in September: clowns from Panama and elsewhere have been registering domains like f-secue.com, mcafeeantiviru.com and nortpnantivirus.com and are using them to show ads.

According to the eWeek article, most of the misspelled URLs are parked with Oingo.com. This is a domain parking server owned by Google.

When people mistype web addresses and end up to these sites, the sites show Google AdSense advertisments, profiting the fraudsters - and indirectly profiting Google.

Ben Edelman comments in the article: "By dramatically increasing the revenue that cyber-squatters can earn, Google encourages the cyber-squatting business and makes marginal squatting domains profitable — further increasing the scope of this problem".

Here's a nice example: typosquatting domain "f-sekure.com" is showing Google Ad Sense ads that we pay for, pointing to our Client Security promotion site:


Oh, and here's another nice trick. The WHOIS data for a fraudulent domain "www-f-secure.com" contains Javascript which tries to launch a new window and load the fake site when viewing the record.

Unasi, Inc