IBM files another combosquatting patent application

Application describes a way to find linkage between combosquatting domains used for nefarious purposes.

Image from IBM patent explaining a way to detect combosquatting and identify common domain owners

IBM has filed a patent application for Combo-squatting domain linkage (pdf).

Combosquatting is when a person uses a famous brand name combined with another word, such as IBM-login .com. These domains are commonly used in phishing attacks.

The company filed a previous combosquatting patent application that described a way to detect combosquatting. It seemed like a complex way to solve a fairly simple problem, which is just discovering domains that include a brand name.

The newer patent application adds more useful elements, such as linking domain ownership of combosquatted domains using Whois information, nameservers, etc. This could allow a company to take bulk action against domain names and their owners.

IBM filed the second patent application on August 16, 2019, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published it today. The patent references a foreign patent application for Domain Impersonator Identification System.

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