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 Thursday, 15th December 2011, 16:53:30

Domain name errors 'are a security risk'

Domain name errors 'are a security risk'

Typosquatting - the act of registering misspellings of domain names in an attempt to profit from mistyped URLS - could create room for harm to an internet user, a recent report has found.

Paul Ducklin, del comma from Sophos, a specialist in online security measures, looked at the scale and the risk of the typosquatting industry and found there is a danger of that fake websites filed under slight mis-spellings could gain profit from unaware users.

In his report, he said: "Typosquatters register mis-spellings of popular domains in the hope that they will be able to make money out of traffic from unintentional typing mistakes, or fat-finger errors, made by internet surfers."

He added that in a test for one website - deliberately spelled incorrectly - three different sites were thrown up, none of which were of any relevance to the desired site.

Although not all possible one-character-wrong names for any domain were registered and in use, Mr Ducklin found that many of the common errors such as adding a letter or missing one out provided a site where users could be potentially exploited.

Infoworld.com has suggested that through the use of bogus domains, cyber criminals can intercept messages containing sensitive personal and proprietary information.

Posted by Henry Thomas

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