Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-630: TypoSquatting (Version 3.0)  

CAPEC-630: TypoSquatting

Attack Pattern ID: 630
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
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.
+ Likelihood Of Attack


+ Typical Severity


+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Mechanisms of Attack" (CAPEC-1000)
ChildOfStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.616Establish Rogue Location
+ Execution Flow
  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.

    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.

    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.

    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.
+ Prerequisites
An adversary requires knowledge of popular or high traffic domains, that could be used to deceive potential targets.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Low]
Adversaries must be able to register DNS hostnames/URL’s.
+ Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the attack pattern. The Scope identifies the security property that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in their attack. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a pattern will be used to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

+ Mitigations
Authenticate all servers and perform redundant checks when using DNS hostnames.
Purchase potential TypoSquatted domains and forward to legitimate domain.
+ Example 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.

+ References
[REF-491] 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
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2015-11-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2018-07-31CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Phases

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018