Home > News > Security Threat From International Domain Names • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Security Threat From International Domain Names

Security Threat From International Domain Names
Get XBIZ News
Feb 12, 2005 6:00 AM PST    Text size: 
WASHINGTON, DC – Website owners have a new security threat to worry about in the form of malicious websites spoofing the web addresses of other, unsuspecting, established websites, through the use of international domain names as a way to garner sales through brand confusion.

A variation of the "homograph attack" which exploits weaknesses in the methods that certain web browsers display domain names using non-English characters. This new threat is used by malicious hackers and criminals bent on identity-theft by luring unsuspecting surfers into divulging their personally identifying, and other sensitive information.

The attacks are carried out in a way that exploits character resemblance. For instance, the number "0" and the letter "O" are similar enough to fool unwary users into believing that a fraudulent site is actually the website the surfer was trying to reach.

The exploit takes advantage of new policies from the Internet Engineering Task Force and other concerned groups that support domain names registered in certain national alphabets that use non-English characters. This Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) program enables many non-English speakers to more easily use the Internet, but does so at the expense of creating such opportunities for hackers to carry out these malicious attacks.

Declaring the vulnerability "moderately critical," Copenhagen-based Secunia warned users of the affected browsers about the new threat following a demonstration of this most recent style of homograph attack at hacker convention ShmooCon, held recently in Washington.

According to the The Shmoo Group, browsers such as Firefox 1.0, Apple's Safari Version 1.2.5, and Opera's Version 7.54, are all susceptible to the IDN homograph form of attack, however, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser isn't thought vulnerable, despite its popularity as a target for attacks.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


Porn ‘Public Health Crisis’ Is False, Dangerous

We are witnessing the early stages of a moral panic, the likes of which we have not seen since the Reagan Administration. As I write this, there are 27 states in the process of passing mandatory porn... More »

The Skinny on the New DMCA Requirement

The requirements under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have changed, but the sky is not falling. We have, even as a law firm, been hit with an unbelievable amount of spam sent out by law firms... More »

2017 Outlook: Legal Matters Around the Corner

The adult entertainment business’ legal community recently weighed in the top issues that companies and the industry, as a whole, should be concerned about. XBIZ asked industry attorneys to discuss... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.


XBIZ.net Paysite Meetup

May 04 - May 04
Prague, Czech Republic

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!