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What makes for a Dangerous Domain?

McAfee recently published a study that identifies what could be described as the world's most dangerous top level domain (.hk). According to McAfee's report, 19% of .hk domains are alleged to be serving malware or otherwise considered potentially risky for site visitors. Two other top level domains, .cn and .info were identified as having more than 11% of their sites identified as being risky, with the .com domain only having about 5% of the total sites on that domain being considered risky.

While raw percentages give a quick initial first impression, in terms of the raw overall numbers of sites that are considered dangerous, there are more on the .com domain than on .hk. The other question not quite answered by the research is how likely a generic Internet user is going to stumble across one of these malicious sites and how obvious it is going to be that they have done so when they have.

Suggestions as to how to improve the data collection and reporting would be to report the numbers by IP block. This would give a better indication as to where on the Internet malicious (and potentially malicious) sites are located and also which network providers are more accommodating to these sites. It would also make the life of other admins much simpler in terms of limiting network traffic to dangerous sites.

6 June 2008

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