Be careful what you type in your browser’s address bar. A small error could hand your private information over to bad actors.
Scammers appear to have made a malicious Reddit clone using the web address “Reddit.co,” the Next Web reported Monday. First discovered by security researcher Alec Muffett, the website looks like an exact replica of the popular social network. It convincingly pulls the top threads from the original website and includes the correct number of upvotes for each post.
But look closer, and you’ll notice the web address is missing the “m” in “.com,” a tiny deviation and the difference between the legitimate news aggregator and a phishing site. Users who don’t realize they are on the wrong webpage may be handing their username and password over to a scammer.
HEADSUP: Looking for infosec people at @Reddit. Website at (phishing?) domain reddit(.)co — using the Colombian TLD — was acting a pitch-perfect apparent MITM of the actual Reddit. Now returning 500 before I could screenshot it. Domain ownership is as-follows: pic.twitter.com/hpucMroumd
— Alec Muffett (@AlecMuffett) February 5, 2018
Muffett said the domain was registered by someone in London, but the IP address suggests it could come from Ukraine. He is shocked at how the website domain was permitted by the registry. The certificate for the domain was issued by cybersecurity company Comodo. It’s not clear how the webpage snuck through its filters.
At this point, most major social networks have purchased misspelled domain names and redirected them to the correct address. For example, Facebook.co will still take you to Facebook.com. As Gizmodo points out, Reddit.co remained unregistered five years after Reddit was created and hasn’t been picked up by the website since. In the past, it was used to house a porn site and flash games site.
The best way to avoid visiting the malicious Reddit site is to add the correct domain to your bookmarks. Alternatively, you can rely on autofill. Whatever you do, don’t try typing “Reddit.com” in each time, or you may make one very costly mistake.
The Daily Dot reached out to Reddit, and we’ll update this article if we hear back.