[LINK] Olympisc 'typosquat' prank

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd@dynamite.com.au
Tue, 26 Sep 2000 14:32:20 +1100

Olympisc 'typosquat' prank
Simon Hayes
19 September 2000

THE Olympics has fallen victim to a cyber prankster who has registered the
domain name olympisc.com and pointed it to the website of anti-capitalist
movement S11. Olympisc.com -- a name designed to catch the thousands of
people who make typos entering the official Olympics website name -- was
registered by Western Australian website designer Miles Burke.

At first glance "the great olympisc typo-jam" looks like a political
statement, with the words "Would you like any fries or drinks with that?"
concealed in the code for the site. But Mr Burke said it was just a joke
inspired by the recent anti-World Economic Forum protests in Melbourne.
"It's more of a prank than anything else," he said. "I had the name, and I
didn't know what to do with it at first, but then with everything that

S11 came to international prominence earlier this year when hackers
hijacked the Nike web presence and pointed it to the protest group's site.

Olympisc.com is not a case of hacking, but could be considered an example
of "typosquatting", where names similar to trademarks are registered in an
attempt to siphon off legitimate traffic.

Cybersquatters have long used misspellings to draw visitors to their sites,
with the World Intellectual Property Organisation recently ruling against
one which registered "ayhoo.com" and "yafoo.com" in the hope of picking up
people seeking web directory Yahoo!. The same individual registered
"goecities.com" to attract users who mis-typed the address of the free web
page hosting company Geocities.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
-- Albert Einstein.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia