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Free Domain Registrations Host Riskiest Sites

Inexpensive or free domain name registration pushes the number of web sites that support spam or host malicious code, McAfee's research revealed.

Internet users click on more than 550 million risky web sites each month. Moreover even reasonably safer domains like the U.K. (.uk) or Germany (.de) receive millions of clicks leading to such sites, McAfee's survey results showed.

McAfee released the study on March 12, 2007, reports 2.csoonline. It highlights the problems coming on since long about the registration of web sites and how easily the con artists are able to modify web sites to propagate online scams.

According to the security firm, web sites ending with .gov are the safest sites on the Internet. It said there are no dangerous sites within that domain, which hosts Web sites of U.S. government agencies. News.zdnet published McAfee's observations on March 12, 2007.

After scanning sites, McAfee used the results to construct the Flash-based map, which it will update every month. Mark Maxwell, senior product manager at McAfee said, so far as safety was concerned the Web behaved similarly to the real world. There were safe nearby surfers, secured Web domains, and even areas people should completely avoid. ComputerWorld published Maxwell's analysis on March 12, 2007.

McAfee analyzed web sites with the most visits. These number to nearly 8.1 millions having registration with 265 TLDs (top-level domains) like .com and .biz and with country-specific domains like .jp relating to Japan.

TLDs of small islands remain problematic. For e.g., about 18.5 percent of web sites under the .st TLD are risky, inclined to spam or even to other malicious operation, McAfee said.

The domain with most risky sites among TLDs is .info accounting for 7.5 percent. The second in risky TLD domains is .com, created sometime in the 1980s that bears 5.5 percent, according to McAfee.

Countries having stronger registration rules host the safest TLDs. Japan, Sweden, Finland and Ireland use a local postal address whereas Norway requires its businesses to register with the government to obtain a .no domain. As a result these domains have the lowest percentages of malicious web sites, McAfee found.

Related article: Free Web Host Services: spammer’s bull’s eye

» SPAMfighter News - 3/23/2007

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