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A Unique Seven-Month Long Study of the Typosquatting Landscape

A group of researchers from Belgian University of Leuven and US-based Stony Brook University have conducted a one of a kind content-based typosquatting experiment that studies the typosquatting phenomenon "longitudinally", i.e., in time. "Instead of reporting on a single snapshot of the typosquatting landscape, we performed a seven-month-long experiment in which we visited the typosquatting domains targeting the 500 most popular sites of the Internet every day," says the group in its report released last week.

Among the results reported are the following:

• Large fraction of all possible typosquatting domains for short popular authoritative domains is already registered, and that typosquatters are hence increasingly targeting longer domains.

• Making use of the longitudinal aspect of the study revealed that typosquatters are actively switching between monetization strategies for the domains that they own, and are also on the look-out for expiring registrations of popular domain names.

• 50% of all typosquatting domains can be traced back to just four typosquatting page hosters.

• Differences in domain price setting and the availability of out-of-court domain dispute resolution procedures between different TLDs, have a significant effect on the prevalence of typosquatting.

• Even though 95% of the most popular domains on the Internet are targeted by typosquatters, most of them do not use defensive registrations as a means of protecting their identity and their clients.

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Related topics: Domain Management, Domain Names

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