Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Friday, June 10, 2011

One Little “G” Can Make a Big Difference

It doesn’t matter who you are, how educated you, even if security is your profession it’s still possible to failure.  Yesterday, everyone was talking about the cool Google Home Page created to celebrate the birthday of guitar genius Les Paul. Today, I will admit how stupid even I can be.

Naturally, I followed my own advice and instead of clicking on one of my friends links posted on Facebook, I manually typed in the Google URL. The only problem is I screwed up big time and typed
G-o-g-g-l-e-.-c-o-m instead of
Well, unlike Google, the folks at Goggle are anxious to do evil.

Normally, the first screen would have given me a clue but I wasn’t paying full attention. I figured, “it was Google, one of my partners so it must be legit”.


I still never noticed the misspelling.  I knew they would be getting extra traffic due to the Les Paul screen so I figured they’d use this day to run a special promotion.

After a few simple questions I received the following screen.
Again, I figured, Google already had my phone number and Email so what’s the big deal giving it to them to validate my information. Since I was multitasking at the time, I still didn’t notice the obvious misspelling of the main logo.

goggle3Ironically, I appreciate that these scammers at least verified I was entering a valid phone number. If not, anyone could use their site to harass unsuspecting cell phone users around the country.


Finally, I woke up.  As soon as I started to see mentions of a bank card and other companies I knew something was wrong.  Yet, I still never thought to check my spelling. My first thought was to check my HOST file and scan for malware.  I even copy and pasted the URL into another browser to verify the address without noticing the spelling error.


The next slap in the face came when my cell phone rang with a call from 877-729-0716.  The caller identified himself as “Education Experts”.  They obviously were connected to this scam so instead of listening to their sales pitch I encouraged the telemarketer to find a job with a reputable company.

It still took my brain a couple minutes to realize my typo. I don’t remember ever doing this before but I hope I’ve learned my lesson.  Watch your typing and give your browser your full attention so this doesn’t happen to you.  ;)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you use WOT? This has saved me from numerous bad sites and bad typing.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Using WOT would have prevented my problem Unfortunately, I do not have WOT installed.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Angus Scott-Fleming said...

I strongly recommend WOT, I'm uncomfortable browsing on a machine without it. I really miss it on my Android tablet.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same phone number has been reported since 2009 with the same and similar sales message ... I've chipped in a link there that points back to your blog, Bill.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use hpHosts HOSTS file and Goggle is in there with all of its associated sites.

7:23 AM  
Blogger The Seeker said...

Just tried to access, was blocked by Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro ;)

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Weasel1 said...

Most of the time, I must admit I am like you Bill, not really thinking about things. However, as soon as any site asks for phone/credit card/name/address my brain kicks into gear and I wake up and check and double check what site I am on.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh -- my hero's got 'clay feet'!

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, I entered and my Trend Micro Internet Security software popped up a page that said it was a "dangerous" web site and don't go there. Finally Trend does something that is helpful. Yea!!

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you using a machine without any AV protection. Avast blocks access to goggle for instance.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading the article, I tried it by typing "" into the address bar in Firefox.

Fortunately, Malwarebytes Antimalware blocked the site and prevented me from even seeing the page, while identifying it as potentially malicious.

Thanks for the heads-up Bill. There are many, many malicious sites which rely on typos, such as this, from innocent and unsuspecting users.

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Terry Stockdale said...

I'm using VIPRE Antivirus Premium, and it also blocked access to the site. VIPRE gives an ability to override the block, but by editing one of the settings - not by clicking a "go there anyway" button (which we all know most users would click).

11:56 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

well, I hope I haven't lost hero status with too many but thought this would help everything give more thought to their surfing habits. :)

I'm actually surprised at how many programs now include site verification. I have reasons why I don't include this protection but I'm pleased to know so many of you are protected.


2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was just kidding, Bill!
You're still my hero and I LOVE WinPatrol Plus!!!

8:26 AM  
Blogger Just Me said...

hpHosts HOSTS has the site listed. But I looked after trying to get there and Avast (free version) had a pop-up that stopped me from going there. It was the "Network shield" that stopped me. So for me if I did not have that then the hosts file would of stopped me.


6:45 PM  
Anonymous Jalousie said...

A small G goes a long way! Thanks for the warning, could've been me.

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Kontaktlinsen said...

I do catch myself being inattentive due to time pressure. Things like this Goggle are really mean!

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Designermöbel said...

No idiot should be that careless with their personal data. Lucky you in this case but I guess tricks like these will increase until people get aware of the dangers the hard way.

4:41 AM  

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