What is Cybersquatting & when is it Illegal?

by VPN Guider

January 13, 2023

Cybersquatting is the unethical activity of registering domain names of existing brands, organizations, or enterprises in bad faith to use them for illicit purposes or to profit by reselling them to the owner at a higher price. Domain squatting is another term for it.

In the early days of the internet, malevolent actors anticipated the need for corporations to migrate into the digital domain and own websites, which led to the rise of Cybersquatting. They began by purchasing organization domain names and used them unlawfully under the business name. They also profited greatly by reselling them.

How does Cybersquatting work?

Cybersquatting, also known as domain squatting, is common nowadays, despite laws prohibiting it. In such attack, the attacker checks whether a corporation has a registered domain name. If it does not, they either buy it and use it unlawfully or hold it and sell it at exorbitant rates. An average domain name costs between $10 and $30 per year. Instead, a cybersquatter may purchase this domain and try to sell it for thousands of dollars.

When attackers discover a domain name already exists, they purchase an identical one with a different top-level domain. The final section of a domain name is the top-level domain.


1. What Can Be Done About Cybersquatting?
To avoid cybersquatting attempts, you can find the best trademark for your brand's name and register many domains connected to it as soon as feasible.
2. How does Cybersquatting take place?
Cybersquatters locate a firm whose brand or URL they wish to utilize and register it. They may then use the URL to construct their website or attempt to sell the domain to a real firm.
3. Is Cybersquatting legal?
No, it is illegal because, to the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, it is not legal (ACPA).
4. How can individuals and organizations safeguard sensitive information?
Safeguarding sensitive data is crucial, and there are various actions that people and organizations may take to do so. To begin, data should be encrypted wherever feasible to prevent unwanted access. Second, sensitive data access should be limited to those who require it, and user access should be monitored and inspected. Finally, frequent data backups should be maintained to guarantee that data can be retrieved in case of a breach or system failure.
5. What could happen in the event of a cyberattack, and how could it be prevented?
A cyber attack can have serious repercussions, including financial losses, reputational harm, and even legal culpability. Cyberattacks occasionally cause physical harm as well, such as when they target vital infrastructure. Organizations should have a thorough incident response plan that includes protocols for finding and reacting to a breach and communication plans for alerting stakeholders and the public to lessen the possible effects of a cyber assault. Organizations may enhance their reaction skills and find cybersecurity defensive vulnerabilities by conducting regular testing and simulation exercises.
6. What is the key role of artificial intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity, and how is it used?
Artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly major and important role in cybersecurity, as it can help to identify and respond to threats more quickly and efficiently than humans alone. AI can be used to analyze large volumes of data, detect patterns, and identify anomalies that may indicate an attack. It can also automate routine security tasks, such as patch management and vulnerability scanning, freeing human security professionals to focus on more complex threats. AI can also be used to enhance other cybersecurity technologies, such as intrusion detection systems and firewalls, by providing real-time threat intelligence and adaptive defense mechanisms.
7. What are some emerging threats in cybersecurity, and how can organizations prepare for them?
Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and new threats are emerging all the time. Some emerging threats include artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) attacks, cryptojacking, and attacks on the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. AI and ML attacks involve using these technologies to generate sophisticated phishing emails and other social engineering attacks. Cryptojacking involves using malware to hijack a victim's computer resources to mine cryptocurrency. Attacks on IoT devices can compromise entire networks and cause significant damage to critical infrastructure

What are the types of Cybersquatting?


Name Jacking

Name jacking is the most popular sort. (and what most people think of when they hear about this type of cybercrime). As the name implies, someone other than you will register a domain using your name or your company’s name.

However, unless the name is distinctive, you cannot sue or accuse someone of name-jacking. In other words, your name or brand’s name must be well-known enough for third parties to know before registering it.

Identity theft

Identity theft is comparable to name jacking, but it necessitates additional procedures. In this situation, a cybersquatter must wait until a domain expires before purchasing it, then utilize a website identical to the one that previously existed to entice its victims. In other words, they will spoof a website while using a legitimate domain.

A criminal frequently acquires an expired domain without the trademark owner’s knowledge. To defraud individuals, they will recreate the website that was on that expired domain. Thus they are easily duped. Visitors should check to see if a website is accurate.

Cybercriminals employ specialized software to track the expiration dates of various domains to purchase them as soon as feasible.


Similar to name jacking, typosquatting calls upon cunning as opposed to timeliness. A person who name-jacks a domain must register it before the trademark owner. However, typosquatting necessitates being creative to come up with name variants. In other words, a cybercriminal will generate names identical to the trademark he wishes to attack.

Reverse Cybersquatting

In this type, the trademark owner is the criminal rather than the victim. In this situation, a trademark owner will sue a third party for legally holding a domain name.

It is determined on a case-by-case basis whether it is illegal or not. However, if a trademark owner threatens or coerces someone into taking down a website in ways other than legally permissible, that trademark owner is breaching the law.

How to Resolve a Cybersquatting Attack?

Cybersquatting Attack

Finding the impacted domains is the first step in avoiding or resolving a cybersquatting assault. You may verify if a domain name is accessible by simply Googling it online or utilizing resources like Google Domain Register. If the domain is already active and used in bad faith, utilize WhoIs LookUp to locate the cybersquatter.

After confirming that the domain is being used for illegal purposes, you can launch a lawsuit under your country’s Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA).

Is it illegal?

It is usually unlawful. There’s a reason for this: most individuals imitate or copy websites not out of benevolence but to defraud others. However, there are rare instances when something appears to be Cybersquatting but is lawful.

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Hackers and malevolent actors always look for new vulnerabilities and opportunities to abuse unwary internet users. Aside from Cybersquatting and typosquatting, several more security threats might harm you and your company. You must ensure the safety of yourself and your business at all times.

These behaviours are often regarded as unethical; nonetheless, they must satisfy specific criteria to be declared criminal. Most individuals, however, prefer to pay cybersquatters rather than sue them since resolving the issue this way is less expensive.