But other kinds of profiteering is also not only possible with typo domains, but already in action, according to Friedrichs. Most typo domains, he said, are used to host ads, most often contextual ads. On some typo domains -- courtesy of ad syndicates or keyword purchasing -- the ads are in fact from the candidate whose domain has been abused. "The candidate is paying to have their ads displayed on the typo squatter's Web site. Candidate are paying for their own typo sites," said Friedrichs.
"Candidates and their campaigns are only beginning to understand the risks and have yet to take the necessary precautions in order to protect themselves," he concluded. "Our fear is that a true appreciation of the required countermeasures will not be realized until these attacks do in fact manifest themselves."
A draft of Friedrichs' chapter for the upcoming book Crimeware has been posted to Symantec's Web site, and includes sections on other threats to the electoral process, ranging from malicious code to Internet-based dirty tricks.
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