Dear readers of Tecnogalaxy, today we will talk about a little-known technique called typosquatting, a form of social engineering, which exploits typos in typing a URL in your browser, in order to hijack the victim to a fake site, different from the original.

In technical jargon typosquatting (URL logging, squatting, squatting, squatting, and typo typing), is a cybercrime in which cyber criminals register domains with known site names, intentionally written incorrectly though.

In fact, the goal of this scam is to attract unsuspecting visitors to these fake sites, so as to steal sensitive data, such as credit cards, userid, passwords etc….

The victim visitor, can reach these fake sites usually in two ways, the first by accidentally typing the name of the site, for example by writing with three ooo, instead of writing

Cyber criminals emulate the appearance of famous sites in order to trap as many users as possible.

This typosquatting technique is based precisely on distraction and simple human error, (the basis of most attacks), such as, typo errors as explained before, spelling errors, hyphenated domains, In fact, adding or omitting a hyphen in a domain name can cause confusion.

More common examples used in Typosquatting

Exchange and Bait: The fake site claims to have sold you something that you might have purchased on the correct site.

Imitation: the fake site pretends to be the real site.

Monetization: fake sites host advertisements and pop-ups to generate advertising revenue from visitors who fall on these sites.

Giveaways/surveys: The fake site pretends to collect customer feedback, the purpose is to acquire enough information or data to carry out identity theft.

Malware: The fake site makes the victim download (through scams) a malicious malware that installs on the victim’s computer.

How do we avoid Typosquatting?

First of all, avoid clicking on links within the emails you receive if we are unsure of the origin, inside text messages or chat messages or unknown websites.

Install good anti-virus software to protect your computer from malware.

Add favorite sites (to browser favorites), this way you won’t have to type the URL with the risk of writing it wrong.

Use a secure search tool instead of typing URLs directly.

As repeatedly said, if we want to avoid opening the door to a cyber criminal, it is important to know the attack techniques he uses.

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