Typosquatting, or URL hijacking, is a form of cybersquatting that targets Internet users who accidentally type a website address into their web browser incorrectly. When users make a typographical error while entering the website address, they may be led to an alternative website owned by a cybersquatter or criminal hacker.
In a new twist, some typosquatters have begun using these domains to advertise deceptive promotions, offering gift cards or iPads to lure visitors.
“Twiter.com,” for example, redirects all the would-be Twitter users who missed one “t” to http://twitter.com-survey2010.virtuousads.com/survey.html. Notice that this copycat page’s URL begins with “http://twitter.com,” but clearly is not part of Twitter. Mistyping “youube.com” or “acebook.com” will send you to similar pages, which are designed to resemble YouTube and Facebook.
This scam benefits affiliate marketers who get paid when users click links and fill out forms. The shadiness of these sites, and the misleading techniques of their operators, indicates that…