Forgetting This Letter In A Web Address Could Break Your Computer
"Typosquatting" is a real thing and it's kind of terrifying.
It's just like it sounds too, when you misspell a word in a browser there are hackers sitting there waiting to pounce on your mistake.
Typosquatting according to McAfee is described as "When users make such a typographical error, they may be led to an alternative website owned by a hacker that is usually designed for malicious purposes."
However, the typosquatting that has been going on for a few years was just in the title of the web address. The hacks have now reached new heights.
The Consumerist explains "a new scam, targeting both PC and Mac users, aims to install malware when people mistakenly type “.om” instead of “.com” in popular URLs,"
For example, typing in Googlec.om is going to send you somewhere malicious. Don't try it, please don't try it.
According to EndGame, a user "mistyped the domain “www.netflix.com” as “netflix.om” in his browser, accidentally dropping the “c” in “.com”. He did not get a DNS resolution error, which would have indicated the domain he typed doesn’t exist. Instead, due to the registration of “netflix.om” by a malicious actor, the domain resolved successfully."
Yikes! How do you defend yourself from this? Sadly, there isn't much help at the moment.
However, I have two ideas on how to avoid your computer falling victim to malware or viruses when it comes to ".om attacks."
First, if you're going to use the web browser to type in an address be sure to type it in correctly and take your time while doing so.
Second, if you find that you might type the web address in to the browser to quickly, skip that all together and search for the web address using the search toolbar.
If all else fails, get off the internet forever.
For more, check out the full report on Consumerist.