13 May 2011

Researchers discover typos leading to malware

Typos are common among everyone, regardless of how technologically experienced a user may be.

The same can be said for risking internet security, as a recent study found that submitting common typographical errors while browsing the web could lead to malware.

While researching URLs and website information, domain name strategy consultancy FairWinds Partners discovered that cyber criminals are targeting typos by crafting malicious campaigns attached to misspelled domain names. The firm dug a little deeper, finding malware designed for the misspelled domain names of 82 major brands, including Google, Microsoft, USA Today and the New York Times.

Phil Lodico, co-founder and managing partner of FairWinds, urged these companies to improve their internet security standards for their customers’ sake.

"Brand owners must be diligent about enforcing their brands in the domain space and protecting their customers," Lodico said. "This goes beyond protecting against monetary losses; this is about protecting your valued customers and delivering them the best online experience and protecting your brand equity in the process."

However, consumers may need to get proactive and pursue antivirus software to protect themselves.

Desktop and laptop computers aren’t the only avenue that consumers need to secure. A recent study conducted by Juniper Networks found that malware designed for Google’s Android mobile operating system, the platform found on the most smartphones in the world, increased by 400 percent last year.