Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-630: TypoSquatting (Version 2.11)  

CAPEC-630: TypoSquatting

Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 630
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Completeness: Stub
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

An adversary registers a domain name with at least one character different than a trusted domain. A TypoSquatting attack takes advantage of instances where a user mistypes a URL (e.g. www.goggle.com) or not does visually verify a URL before clicking on it (e.g. phishing attack). As a result, the user is directed to an adversary-controlled destination. TypoSquatting does not require an attack against the trusted domain or complicated reverse engineering.

+ Attack Steps
  1. Determine target website: The adversary first determines which website to impersonate, generally one that is trusted and receives a consistent amount of traffic.

    Research popular or high traffic websites.

  1. Impersonate trusted domain: In order to impersonate the trusted domain, the adversary needs to register the TypoSquatted URL.

    Register the TypoSquatted domain.

  1. Deceive user into visiting domain: Finally, the adversary needs to deceive a user into visiting the TypoSquatted domain.

    Execute a phishing attack and send a user an e-mail convincing the user to click on a link leading the user to the TypoSquatted domain.

    Assume that a user will incorrectly type the legitimate URL, leading the user to the TypoSquatted domain.

+ Attack Prerequisites
  • An adversary requires knowledge of popular or high traffic domains, that could be used to deceive potential targets.

+ Typical Severity


+ Typical Likelihood of Exploit

Likelihood: Low

+ Methods of Attack
  • Spoofing
  • Analysis
  • Social Engineering
+ Examples-Instances


An adversary sends an email, impersonating paypal.com, to a user stating that they have just received a money transfer and to click the given link to obtain their money.

However, the link the in email is paypa1.com instead of paypal.com, which the user clicks without fully reading the link.

The user is directed to the adversary's website, which appears as if it is the legitimate paypal.com login page.

The user thinks they are logging into their account, but have actually just given their paypal credentials to the adversary. The adversary can now use the user's legitimate paypal credentials to log into the user's account and steal any money which may be in the account.

TypoSquatting vulnerability allows an adversary to impersonate a trusted domain and trick a user into visiting the malicious website to steal user credentials.

+ Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required

Skill or Knowledge Level: Low

Adversaries must be able to register DNS hostnames/URL’s.

+ Solutions and Mitigations

Authenticate all servers and perform redundant checks when using DNS hostnames.

Purchase potential TypoSquatted domains and forward to legitimate domain.

+ Attack Motivation-Consequences
ScopeTechnical ImpactNote
Depending on the intention of the adversary, a successful TypoSquatting attack can be leveraged to execute more complex attacks such as cross-site scripting or stealing account credentials.
+ Technical Context
Architectural Paradigms
+ References
[R.611.1] Nick Nikiforakis, Marco Balduzzi, Lieven Desmet, Frank Piessens and Wouter Joosen. "Soundsquatting: Uncovering the Use of Homophones in Domain Squatting". Trend Micro. <https://www.trendmicro.de/cloud-content/us/pdfs/security-intelligence/white-papers/wp-soundsquatting.pdf>.
+ Content History
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2015-11-09Internal_CAPEC_Team

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: August 04, 2017