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Thursday, March 30, 2006
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Hey, TYPE-YOUR-CREDIT-CARD-NUMBER-HERE.COM is available for registration! Posted by Mikko @ 14:00 GMT

Being curious about phishing, we decided to look into the number of domains that mimic banks. Just how many are out there? Well, lots.

We did a simple search across com/net/org/us/biz/info top-level domains for common bank names.

Keyword Number of domains
citibank* 497
bankofamerica* 407
lloyds* 994
bnpparibas* 41
egold* 691
hsbc* 1258
chase* 6470
paypal* 1634
ebay* 8057


When someone in, say, Nigeria wants to register a domain name that starts with the name of a well known bank, why are the registrars so willing to let them register it?

Some examples of existing, active registrations, using Citibank as an example:

  citibank-america.com
  citibank-credicard.comCitibank account updating, anyone?
  citibank-credit-card.com
  citibank-credit-cards.com
  citibank-account-updating.com
  citibank-creditcard.com
  citibank-loans.com
  citibank-login.com
  citibank-online-security.com
  citibank-secure.com
  citibank-site.com
  citibank-sucks.com
  citibank-update.com
  citibank-updateinfo.com
  citibank-updating.com
  citibankaccount.com
  citibankaccountonline.com
  citibankaccounts.com
  citibankaccountsonline.com
  citibankbank.com

Some of these are probably perfectly legitimate. Others probably are not...like citibank-account-updating.com, registered last Friday to Ms. Evelyn Musa in Arlington, VA?





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