Typos hurt! Never Goggle!
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Sadly, malware writers prey on our mistakes. In fact, they depend on them for their financial gain. This trickery has been going on since the early days of the web. One of the most famous nasty tricks was the website Whitehouse.com. (The legitimate government site is Whitehouse.gov. Learn more about this trick at Wikipedia.) It may be hard to understand how these tricks profit the bad guys. Some of the profit may come from generating traffic for a website (penny per click). This trick is called “web trapping” and was very successfully employed in the early days of the web by John Zuccarini until he successfully targeted children and tricked them into visiting porn sites. That was against the law and thankfully he was arrested and sent to jail. Learn more about the Zuccarini case:
Unfortunately, the laws of the United States do not apply to websites that are hosted outside the U.S. A WHOIS look up of the domain Goggle.com shows that the owner is hiding behind a privacy service called WhoisGuard. The website is registered in Panama and thus United States laws do not apply. The risks for misspelling “Google” are much greater than exposing unwitting children to pornography. Mistyping Google in an address bar of a web browser so it comes out as “Goggle.com” can be a deadly mistake for computer owners.
Goggle.com is a VERY mailicious website. A couple of years ago Google tried to sue the owner of Goggle in court but lost the case (see: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/12/google_v_goggle/)
The Zulu Online Risk Analyzer describes the site as 100% malicious:
Though somewhat “tongue-in-cheek” with over-dramatic music, here are 2 videos posted in 2012 and 2013 on YouTube showing what happens to a Windows user when they accidently type Goggle.com instead of Google.com:
Bottom line: Goggle.com is a MAJOR malware installer. The site has “drive-by downloads” that immediately cause a computer infection unless you are well protected. Goggle.com was created specifically to take advantage a simple typo.
Moral of this story….. TYPE carefully! Google, don’t Goggle.
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