Media typosquatting is the latest trend

Importance of content-focused monitoring is growing

Now that more and more organisations are monitoring their brands online, cybercrooks are looking for new ways in. Domain names resembling well-known media titles and trade journals are the latest popular target. Media-oriented typosquatting was one of the main phishing trends in 2019.

Going under the radar

Phishing with domain names that look like media titles enables the fraudsters to go under most big organisations' radar. While the organisations monitor for registrations that look like their brand names, the crooks are registering names that resemble the titles of journals and media outlets that write about the brands. They might go for a domain name echoing the title of a financial journal that often publishes banking news, for example. The scammers then put up journalistic articles with links to fake pages that seem to belong to the brand. The tactic enables them to take advantage of the media title's profile in order to defraud customers of the brand without needing a domain name that would attract the brand owner's attention. Because the brand owners are looking out for things that look like their brands, not media titles.

Content-focused monitoring is important

With the new threat in mind, SIDN and others are investing in content-focused monitoring. That means looking for web pages that ask for card details, when they don't have links to payment service providers, for example. Or sites with content relating to high-profile brands plus links to dubious URLs. In the course of 2020, we'll be looking to build relevant new forms of monitoring into our Domain Name Surveillance Service.


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