Mirror websites or mirrors are replicas of other websites. Such websites have different URLs than the original site, but host identical or near-identical content. The main purpose of benign mirrors is often to reduce network traffic, improve access speed, improve availability of the original site, or provide a real-time backup of the original site. Malicious mirror sites can attempt to steal user information, distribute malware, or profit from the content of the original site, among other uses.
Examples of websites with notable mirrors are KickassTorrents, The Pirate Bay, WikiLeaks, the website of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Wikipedia. Examples of websites where a part of the website is mirrored are free and open-source software projects such as GNU, in particular Linux distributions such as Debian and Fedora; such projects provide mirrors of the download sites (since those expected to have high load), but not do necessarily mirror the main websites.
There are known cases of mirror websites which attempt to gain sensitive information of or distribute malware to its users. Other types of malicious mirrors might attempt to make profit from the content of other websites, identify users or manipulate website contents.
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