In a follow up to Microsoft's Strider URL Tracer tool released a few months ago, SecurityFocus is running an article which takes a closer look at how Microsoft's free Strider URL Tracer with Typo-Patrol is aimed at fighting typo-squatters and domain parking abuse. From the article:
"In most cases, the typo domain is not even selling a product or service itself. The typo domain makes its money from syndicated advertising such as Google's AdSense program. The typo-squatter simply parks the domain and the only content on the site ends up being the ads served from a syndicated advertising program.
With ad syndication, context-sensitive ads are displayed that are based on the overall content of the target web site. When a URL is typed into the address bar or clicked on, the Web browser is instructed to retrieve data from a third-party URL. The third-party URL, using information it knows about the target URL, and possibly combined with details about the user, then serves contextual ads that are relevant to the site or user.
In theory, there is nothing wrong with this practice. If I am visiting a site about golfing, it makes sense that I would want to see advertising that has to do with golfing as well, as opposed to ads about the latest cholesterol drug or mail-order DVD service.
Some domain owners abuse the ad syndication system, however, by simply parking the domains so that the only content on the site to begin with is from the syndicated ads. These sites provide no real value and serve no better purpose than to generate ad revenue for the domain owner. With domain registrations as low as $7, the domain could pay for itself with as little as one unique visitor every 2 days.
To try to identify and combat this type of systematic typo-squatting and abuse of the syndicated advertising system, Microsoft's Cybersecurity and Systems Management research group developed the Strider Typo-Patrol tool."
Microsoft Research maintaining a website on the project defines Strider URL Tracer with Typo-Patrol as follows:
"When a user visits a Web site, her browser may be instructed to visit other third-party domains without her knowledge. Some of these third-party domains raise security, privacy, and safety concerns. The Strider URL Tracer, available for download, is a tool that reveals these third-party domains, and it includes a Typo-Patrol feature that generates and scans sites that capitalize on inadvertent URL misspellings, a process known as typo-squatting. The tool also enables parents to block typo-squatting domains that serve adult ads on typos of children's Web sites."
|Cybersquatting||Policy & Regulation|
|DNS Security||Registry Services|
|IP Addressing||White Space|
Minds + Machines