Typo Squatters, HO!

2006-12-02 20:26 - Rants

Spam is reprehensible. There are a lot of kinds of spam. The most famous, of course, is e-mail. But the spirit of the original has crept into many other areas. People will forge a referrer URL in attempt to be listed in the common "Who linked here?" sections. Then, there's domain squatters.

Squatters are the reason that new companies these days come up with such crazy names. All the good ones are taken, usually by squatters. A particularly nefarious kind of squatting is typo-squatting. They just hope you type in the wrong address, and bam, you're at their pile of ads instead of the site you meant to get to. And, sometimes, they really go crazy. A Reddit submitter just pointed out that Google with 35 "o"s is taken. In fact, Google with too many "o"s is taken, almost no matter which number of too many "o"s you choose.

I quickly typed up this one-liner script at my bash prompt:

O=ooo; for i in `seq 1 70`; do echo -ne "${i}\t"; (host "g${O}gle.com"; echo) | head -n 1; O="${O}o"; done

And what did I come up with? This!

1       gooogle.com has address
2       goooogle.com has address
3       gooooogle.com has address
4       goooooogle.com has address
5       gooooooogle.com has address
6       goooooooogle.com has address
7       gooooooooogle.com has address
8       goooooooooogle.com has address
9       gooooooooooogle.com has address
13      gooooooooooooooogle.com has address
16      goooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
18      goooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
19      gooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
20      goooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
21      gooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
22      goooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
23      gooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
24      goooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
25      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
28      goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
29      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
30      goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
31      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
32      goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
33      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
35      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
36      goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
37      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
38      goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
39      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
40      Host goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com not found: 2(SERVFAIL)
41      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
42      Host goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
43      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
44      Host goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
45      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
46      Host goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
47      Host gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
48      Host goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
49      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
50      Host goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
51      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
52      goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
53      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
54      goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
55      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
56      Host goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com not found: 2(SERVFAIL)
57      gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com has address
58      'goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com' is not a legal name (label too long)

So, 58 too many (60 total) is too many. I'm honestly unsure where this limit really comes from, but both my windows box (running Cygwin) and my linux box say the same thing. From 1-58 though, we see that all but 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 26, 27, 34, 40, 42, 44, 46, 47, 48, 50, and 56 are taken and resolve to an IP with this very basic check.

So, let's check into those others. With so many taken, it seems unusual that the rest wouldn't be, but they really are! See for yourself: 10 11 12 14 15 17 26 27 40 42 44 46 47 48 50 56 extra "o"s are all owned by someone, too! Don't ask me why they bothered to register it, and didn't send it somewhere.

Oh, and yes, I know that this has already been done.


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