Sneaky survey adverts prey on ham-fisted Wikipedia users

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Do you have Wikipedia bookmarked as one of your favourite websites, or do you just type its URL into your web browser?

Well, be careful if you’re a clumsy typist because advertisers may be trying to take advantage of you not having invested time in a “Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing” course.

Clu-blog reader Pete got in touch with me to tell me that he had accidentally visited http://en.wikpedia.org (note: there’s no “i” before “pedia”) when he really wanted to go to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org.

And here’s what he saw:

A message pops up in the foreground with an iframe displaying the real Wikipedia website shaded out beneath. The message says that you need to fill in a survey to access the information on the site below (in this case, Wikipedia)

Users who accidentally type the wrong address might be fooled by this into thinking that the survey is in some way endorsed by Wikipedia, whereas clearly it isn’t. And the individuals behind the survey presumably make a few cents…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

Found this article interesting? Follow Graham Cluley on Twitter to read more of the exclusive content we post.


Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.