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Anti-Virus Companies Pestered By Typosquatters

December 24, 2013

Recent research shows cyber-fraudsters are continuing to use domain names similar to the legitimate domains of most popular antivirus companies.

Carried out by High-Tech Bridge, the research detected 164 fraudulent domains similar to the ten antivirus companies' URLs that were engaged in activities such as displaying advertising or redirecting users to questionable websites.

A further 107 domains were found to be registered by the companies themselves; likely to prevent typosquatting or malicious activities being carried out.

73 "squatted" domains were also found without web sites; which may have been registered in the hope the related company offers to purchase the name.

"Research results show that some antivirus companies pay attention to such illegal activities and try to prevent them," says High-Tech Bridge. "While others should probably pay more attention to domain squatting, monitor illegal activities and block them."

This isn't just a problem for anti-virus vendors. Typosquatting and cybersquatting is something that other companies should be aware too - whether large or small. 

Typosquatting and cybersquatting are less common in relation to Australian domain names due to registration eligibility rules and regulations such as registering a domain name with the sole intent of offering it for sale or transfer to another party being prohibited

However, it's still wise to keep an eye out for such incidents and then take action if appropriate as individuals engaged in this practice can cause havoc to a brand.

For some online business owners, it can pay to register a variation of their domain name if it is known to be a frequently used misspelling. This not only keeps it out of the hands of unscrupulous parties, but can be used to redirect wayward visitors to the correct destination.

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