Most risky domains revealed

Global online security firm McAfee recently released the findings of their third annual ‘Mapping the Mal Web’ report, which indicates that Africa’s Cameroon (.cm) has overthrown Hong Kong (.hk) as the Web’s riskiest domain.

The firm produced the report after analyzing over 27 million websites and 107 ‘top level’ domains for a variety of security threats. This produced a global profile as to which territories’ domains were the least secure for online users in terms of exploits, phishing, excessive pop-ups and malicious downloads. 

Cameroon received an overall risk rating of 36.7%, despite not making the list last year. This means that 36.7% of websites surveyed with a Cameroon based domain name posed potential threats to web users. 

This, said van der Westhuizen, product manager of McAfee at Workgroup, was due to the country’s close correlation to the commercial domain COM.

“Because the domain .cm is a common typo for .com, many cybercriminals set up fake typo-squatting sites that lead to malicious downloads, spyware, adware and other potentially unwanted programs.”

Following aggressive measures from .hk’s domain managers to clamp down on scam-related registrations last year, Hong Kong fell 33 spots from the most risky domain in 2008 to the 34th most risky domain in 2009. Now, only 1.1 percent of .hk sites pose a risk, whereas last year nearly one in five .hk Web sites were risky.

The ten most risky domains globally are listed below:

Country or name Domain
Cameroon CM
Commercial COM
People’s Republic of China CN
Samoa WS
Information INFO
Philippines PH
Network NET
Former Soviet Union SU
Russia RU
Singapore SG

The study also listed Japan (.jp) as the safest country domain in the world with Governmental (.gov) following closely behind as the safest non country domain. 

Local users will be glad to hear that South Africa featured in the top ten least risky domains globally. The ZA field placed in ninth position with a risk rating of 0.2%.

The ten least risky domains globally are listed below:

Country or name Domain
Governmental GOV
Japan JP
Educational EDU
Ireland IE
Croatia HR
Catalan CAT
Luxembourg LU
Vanuatu VU
South Africa ZA
Switzerland CH

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Most risky domains revealed