Cameroon gets wise to typosquatting scam

Some of the best known names on the internet are being typosquatted after a reported decision by Cameroon Telecom to 'wildcard' its country, selling addresses to sites irrespective of copyright.

Internet infrastructure community forum CircleID member John Berryhill alerted the group to the practice. He became aware that top branded domains like the BBC web site were being registered as .cm addresses and visitors were being redirected to an advertising site.

"You could argue this is technically not cybersquatting," he told IT PRO.

He explained that there were some trademark lawyers who saw nothing wrong with the practice but described such actions as similar to a bank robber who uses a gun and gets off because they didn't commit murder.

"I'm an anti-trademark attorney trademark attorney. My angle is to show the utter hypocrisy with which some organisations blindly register names via such inputs."

Typosquatting involves registering a deliberately misspelled URL and diverting clumsy typists to their own sites. Since the majority of global brands use the .com suffix the .cm domain that Cameroon controls is perfect for typosquatting.