"Typosquatting" is a problem for 2020 candidates
Screenshot via Billdebiasio.com
2020 candidates face around 550 websites that aim to "typosquat" — or provide unintended content via a misspelling — their campaigns, according to a new report from Digital Shadows.
How it works: Users who go to Tulsi2020.co rather than Tulsi2020.com would find themselves redirected to a political rival's page — in this case, Marianne Williamson's — but the tactic can be used for a wide variety of purposes.
The big picture: Around 68% of typosquatted sites redirect to some kind of incorrect page. They can send users to a rival campaign, toward malicious browser extensions or other such surprises.
- Elizibethwarren.com will take you to President Trump's campaign page.
- If you misspell WinRed, the Republican fundraising site, and you'll arrive at ActBlue, the Democratic fundraising portal.
8% of sites contained wildly unofficial content about the candidate in the web site address.
- Those ranged from fan sites, like KamalaHarris.fr, or more malicious attacks, like Billdebiasio.com.
- Digital Shadows notes that a bootleg message can cause brand damage to a candidate.
The remaining 24% of typosquatted sites were non-malicious sites with little content relating to the candidate.