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Harm Caused by Typosquatting Is Still Modest, Research Suggests

Harm caused by domain name typosquatting is still modest, to both the user and the brand holder, and investment on anti-typosquatting products should be cautious, according to a paper published in Security and Privacy (SP), 2015 IEEE Symposium titled, "Every Second Counts: Quantifying the Negative Externalities of Cybercrime via Typosquatting." The paper presents a strategy for quantifying the harm caused by the cybercrime of typo squatting via an intent inference technique.

Zhou Li, one of the authors who worked on the study writes: "Surprisingly, our result shows typosquatting only costs a typical user 1.3 seconds per typosquatting event over the alternative of receiving a browser error page. Many typosquatters actually improve the latency between a typo and its correction, probably due to the faster responses from typo domains. Regarding brand holders, their legitimate sites lose approximately 5% of the mistyped traffic over the alternative of an unregistered typo and the negative externality ratio (money losses for brand holders over revenues for cybercriminals) is 18:1, much lower than 100:1 for spam. These results suggest that the harm caused by typosquatting is still modest, to both the user and the brand holder, and investment on anti-typosquatting products should be cautious."

Related topics: Domain Management, Domain Names
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