Monday, August 6, 2012

Spam and Scams Hide Behind Large Number of “Olympic” Domains

2012 OlympicsKeep your guard up when browsing the internet for anything related to the Olympics.

Researchers at cloud-based antivirus firm Zscaler took a peek at the domains containing the string “Olympics” that have been accessed by their customers and noticed an alarming trend: a whopping 80% of the sites they observed were nothing more than spam or scams!

On the upside, none of the garbage Olympic sites involved sophisticated exploits and fell under one of the following categories:

  • Typosquatting Sites

  • TV-on-PC Scams

  • “Made for Adsense” Sites

Olympic Domain Typosquatters

Usually typosquatters will attempt to take advantage of spelling mistakes made when a user types in a domain by setting up survey scams to either collect information needed to dabble in identity theft or earn a commission for every completed survey through some sort of affiliate program.

For the most part, the Olympic typosquatters keep their junk domains parked and covered in advertisements and links, but a survey scam was spotted on olympics2012videoclips[dot]

Example domains (based off the official domain):





“TV on PC” Scams

Some cybercrooks are hoping to make a buck from people who are interested in watching the Olympics online via fake cable/satellite TV on PC subscriptions.

Example domains:






"Made for AdSense" Sites

The only real focus for these types of sites is to get as much traffic to earn the scammer via Google AdSense ads. Sample site seen below.

Olympics Website Made for AdSense Ads

Screenshot Credit: Zscaler
Nothing much to see here, move along...

Zscaler did come across some malware posing as software necessary to see the Olympic games, so be careful not to download any files from untrusted/unknown sources.

Fyi, consider “” one of those “untrusted sources.”

For more examples of garbage Olympic domains and screenshots check out the Zscaler blog.

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