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Parked-domain-to-Gmail redirection?

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
14 years ago3,766 views

Ever wary of frontrunning[*], I've taken to testing available domain names simply by typing them (with tlds) into the browser – if they're unknown, then my local DNS will say so – ergo, presumably, they should be available for registering.

So I wonder why all of a sudden typing or its www-prepended variant, lands me in the mobile version of (simultaneously open in basic-html mode) Gmail.

That particular domain appears to be one of the parked ones:

but something there redirects my incoming http-requests back to me, to my other open process. Another something tells me this should not be happening. Any idea ?why?

[*] = instant and surreptitiously-registered domain name, ie. hijacked by the registrar, or other party, when attempting to check on said domain's availability using that party's online WHOIS search tools; see previous discussion:

George R [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Our previous thread discussed the issue "Search A Domain Candidate, Risk Losing It". Typing a domain candidate into the address bar is not a safe way to test its availability. Using a registrar's search is also not safe.

That is an issue here, but I think the main point of this post is that the link now seems to be redirecting to gmail.

What is going on?
Are they harvesting gmail addresses?
Are they compromising gmail security?

If you are going to test this I recommend using a clean machine or creating a brand new clean account on your machine.

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

This is getting creepy... I only have a Palm Lifedrive palmtop here to test it with, so no clean instances of, nor ordinary desktop browsers, but I checked it a bit more right now.

1. Logged out of Gmail.
2. Opened local all-text homepage.
3. Cleared the cache.
4. Cleared the cookies.
5. Rebooted.

6. Launched the browser, it opens on Gmail Mobile Login page.
7. Cleared the cookies and cache again.
8. Opened local homepage.
9. Quit the browser explicitly this time.
10. Rebooted.

11. Launched the browser – opens local homepage.
12. Cleared the cookies and cache.
13. Quit the browser.
14. Launched the browser – opens local homepage.
15. Typed "" into the location field.

16. Browser opens up on Gmail Mobile Login page (url below in explicitly broken-up form for clarity):

!?WTF?! There was *NO ACTIVE*/ open Google/ Gmail-process at my end @the time of access to that parked adress. So, could it be due to some hitherto-unknown "feature" of my IE/Mozilla-clone Blazer browser???

I'll check it tomorrow on an XP and an OSX machines, IE and Safari, to see if that misbehavior persists.

scjm [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

A better way is to just search Whois for available domain names. That way the squatters/parkers don't get anything out of it. If they see that a name has traffic at all, they are more likely to keep it.

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