Domain Parking: A Gateway to Attackers Spreading Emotet and Impersonating McAfee

Domain parking services offer a simple solution for domain owners to monetize their sites’ traffic through third-party advertisements. While domain parking might appear harmless at first glance, parked domains pose significant threats, as they can redirect visitors to malicious or unwanted landing pages or turn entirely malicious at any point in time.

We have been detecting parked domains for more than nine years. From March to September 2020, we identified 5 million newly parked domains. In the same time frame, we observed that 6 million parked domains have transitioned to other categories. Out of the transitioned parked domains, 1.0% changed to malicious categories (such as phishing or malware); 2.6% changed to not safe for work categories (such as adult or gambling); and 30.6% changed to suspicious categories (such as questionable or high Risk). Compared to a benign domain (such as computer and internet info or shopping), a parked domain has an eight times higher probability of changing its category to one of the above non-benign categories.

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Source: Palo Alto