Cyber-Fraud Is One Typo Away
Spelling errors when typing a URL can be exploited by website-squatters: users are led to phony sites in a phenomenon the authors call parasitic URL naming. These phony sites imitate popular websites and try to extract personal information from unsuspecting users, or simply advertise and sell products to users. In this paper, the authors conduct a massive study in order to quantify the extent of this parasitic URL naming. The authors start with a corpus of 900 popular websites, which they refer to as original URLs, and generate roughly 3 million URLs by varying the original names systematically and exhaustively.