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Very Strange Domain name?



3:30 am on Feb 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have just found the strangest looking domain name, or subdomain name using underscores and "@" in the name, how is this done? Look at www.somewords@example.com/

[edited by: Woz at 4:33 am (utc) on Feb. 28, 2003]
[edit reason] no specifics please [/edit]


4:03 pm on Feb 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

might me some local level domain from new.net , but i still dunno if new.net support @


4:06 pm on Feb 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

hi zarm777, welcome to webmasterworld.

these are called @-domains and they only work with a javascript enabled browser. i can post an indeep description in german to you if you like.


10:13 am on Mar 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You can use the @ to "cloak" a domain name. For example:


..actually takes you to the front page of Webmasterworld.com as everything before the "@" is ignored. With some further obfuscation you could get:


Which is *still* a link to Webmasterworld.com.

IE de-obfuscates the URL, but it can be a useful think for emails, especially if you're playing a prank on someone. It's fairly easily detected by anti-spam tools though.

(Note to mods: I *can* link to webmasterworld.com, right?)


12:15 pm on Mar 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

the @ is used in HTTP for very a crude and insecure login mechanism:


Spammers exploit this feature by filling up the space in front of the @ with irrelevant nonsense, in order to confuse their uninformed victims. Just ignore that nonsense, and the remainder will show you what's really going on.


12:28 pm on Mar 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Are we sure that's not a userID and Password?

If you are looking to get into a "Members" page with a password dialog box (standard security) you can type your username and password into the url separated by a ":" and leading into it with "@"

[grumpus:password@webmasterworld.com...] would log me in to the member area here, if there was an area using standard password protected directories. (I don't think that's the case with this site, but you get the idea).


<added> Doh - bird beat me to it. :) </added>


3:32 pm on Mar 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, it's part of the authentication but I should have said *mostly* ignored. Useful for a bit of fun though :)


6:44 pm on Mar 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, the part in front of the @ is a username/password. But some companies sell those as -- like Hakre mentioned -- '@-domains', where the @ usually replaces an a.
So: webm@sterworld.com would actually be a specific user at the sterworld.com domain. Scripts detect the part in front of the @ and redirect appropriately.
Clever idea, but it seems to have been more or less of a flop (no wonder, when 99% of internet users think its spelled wrong, or an email address, etc). You also can't search for such domains on Google, apparently.. wonder if they are indexed this way at all.

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