For those that don’t know a homograph is a set of two or more words that are spelled the same but have different meanings and origins. In this case, homograph is an imperfect descriptor, but it’s still sufficient. To execute a Unicode Domain Phishing attack, you first need a Unicode domain. Typically, the URLs you type are in ASCII, that stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. However, in 2003, a specification was added to allow Unicode characters to be used in domain names. Unicode is an industry standard for encoding text expressed in most of the world’s written languages. The idea behind this was to give international internet users the ability to follow links in their own language. But, as with everything on the internet, somebody found a way to exploit this.
|Researcher Xudong Zheng published a proof of concept last year that highlights the issue. In the POC, Zheng uses Unicode to produce a web page that resembles Apple’s. To do this, he created a domain with Punycode, which allows for Internationalized Domain Names. He then mixed in Unicode with ASCII to create a website that actually says “Apple.com”|