What Does Pagejacking Mean?

Pagejacking is the process of illegally copying legitimate website content (usually, in the form of source code) to another website designed to replicate the original website. To accomplish pagejacking, a fraudulent pagejacker copies a favorite Web page from a reputable site, including its actual HTML code.


A pagejacker’s intention is to illegally direct traffic from the original site to cloned Web pages. Pagejackers rely on search engines to index bogus site content to enable search result ranking and display with the original site.

Techopedia Explains Pagejacking

Users are often deceived into believing that a bogus website is actually the one they are trying to find. As soon as a tricked user browses the cloned site, he may be directed to an unwanted website, such as an R-rated or pornographic site.

Users often encounter mousetrapping, which is the major threat for pagejacking victims. Mousetrapping is a technique that forces an Internet user to stay on a particular website by not allowing the user to exit that website. Each time the user attempts to leave the website by closing the browser or proceeding to a new URL, the site triggers a mousetrap, which automatically opens a new browser with the same URL or does not permit the browser to proceed to a new URL. Some types of mousetraps only open a fixed number of new browser windows before finally allowing the frustrated user to exit the site. However, other mousetraps trigger the opening of an infinite number of browser windows, and the only way of leaving the trap is by pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE to terminate the process (or restart the system if this fails).

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revoked Internet rights to individuals that perpetrate pagejacking.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…