Sometimes in digital you see things that make you pause and do a double take. This is one of them.

Opening up Google Analytics I was greeted by the obvious spam:

ga-language

As if I’ll fall for that, Mr obvious Russian bad guy. But how could Secret.ɢoogle.com looks so official! Is this Google.com?

cty2

The trick is in the letter G – the “ɢ” is not “G” but rather a fake G.
TO be exact, “ɢ” is Unicode 0262 – Latin Letter Small Capital and not G . At a glance ɢ G looks quite similar.
and ɢoogle.com brings you to somewhere definitely not Google.com

charmap

What has happened is Internationalized Domain Names

Recently much work as done to get international characters into domain names (Heavily involving NUS starting around 2008) – this allows interesting domain names like: 林家禾.sg
Hence the appearance of the nefarious fake Mr G where a unscrupulous Russian dude/dudette bagged ɢoogle.com.

I’m pretty sure it would take sometime before the public catches on – or the law catches up with this unintended side effect which would cause increases in phishing.

Till then, Please stay safe and look out for dubious letters.