Domain names help us navigate the vastness of the world wide web and find the information and services we are looking for. However, malicious actors abuse the importance of domain names by registering ones that are identical or similar to existing trademarks, company names, or personal names, hoping to profit from the confusion. It is called cybersquatting.

According to data presented by Atlas VPN and provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), cybersquatting cases reached record highs in 2022.

In total, 5,616 cybersquatting disputes were filed to the WIPO this year — a nearly 10% rise from 2021.

If we look at the historic numbers of cybersquatting complaints, they have been steadily growing over the past six years. Compared to 2000, cybersquatting disputes have risen by a whopping 202%. 

In total, 61,284 cybersquatting complaints have been filed to WIPO since 2000.

After registering the look-alike domain names, cybersquatters may attempt to sell them to the trademarks they are copying or use similarities in domain names to attract traffic to their own website. Among the latter are those that use domains to lure victims into phishing attacks.