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Man escapes from prison by typosquatting

Kevin Murphy, March 30, 2015, 12:36:04 (UTC), Gossip

A convicted fraudster reportedly escaped from a UK prison by typosquatting.

Neil Moore was serving time on remand when he used a smuggled mobile phone to register a domain name that looked a lot like that of the UK court service, according to local media reports.

The domain, registered last March, was hmcts-gsi-gov.org.uk, a typo of the genuine hmcts.gsi.gov.uk.

Had Moore registered the name after last June, when Nominet enabled direct second-level .uk registrations, he would have been able to get a much more convincing typo.

He populated the Whois with the name of his case’s investigating officer and the address for the Royal Courts of Justice.

He then emailed the prison from his new domain with instructions for his bail.

Prison staff fell for it and he was released.

The scam went unnoticed for three days until his lawyers went to interview him. He handed himself back in to police hours later.

Moore was in prison for socially engineering over £1.8 million ($2.6 million) out of major firms by pretending to be bank staff.

He’s fessed up to several counts of fraud and one count of escape from lawful custody. He’ll be sentenced in April.

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Comments (2)

  1. Acro says:

    Best typo ever. 😀 Brilliant!

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