McAfee report identifies dangerous ccTLDs; .hk most dangerous

McAfee released a study on Tuesday that indicates the domains that tend to be the most dangerous or malware-prone on the Web, and at the top of the list is the Hong Kong (.hk) domain.The McAfee Mal Web report, which serves as a safety guidebook to risky online neighborhoods, reveals that 19.2 percent of all Web sites ending with the .hk domain pose a security threat to Web users, followed by China (.cn), the Philippines (.ph), Romania (.ro) and Russia (.ru). names ‘.hk’ world’s most dangerous domain [IDG]
Hong Kong’s “.hk” is now the world’s most dangerous domain for surfing and searching, according to a report released Wednesday by security company McAfee, but the survey’s methodology may mean it is not as risky as its seems. Kong is most dangerous place on the web
As many as one in five websites ending in ‘.hk’ are compromised, with mainland China the next most risky, a report saysHong Kong has been declared the world’s most dangerous place to visit – on the internet, at least.Websites which end with .hk – the country code for Hong Kong – have the greatest number of vulnerabilities out of any of so-called top level domains, according to a report by the online security company McAfee. report identifies dangerous Web sites [AP]
When surfing the Internet for safe Web sites, not all domains are equal. Companies that assign addresses for Web sites appear to be cutting corners on security more when they assign names in certain domains than in others, according to a report to be released today by antivirus software vendor McAfee. Kong websites found most likely to pose security risk
Hong Kong might be a lovely place to visit in person, but computer users should think twice before stopping there online.More than 19% of websites in Hong Kong’s Internet domain, .hk, pose some kind of security threat, according to a study released Tuesday by anti-virus firm McAfee Inc.,0,7810335.storyMcAfee, Inc. Names Most Dangerous Domains to Surf and Search on the Web [news release]
New McAfee Research Names Hong Kong as Most Dangerous Country Domain; Finland is SafestHong Kong (.hk) domain has jumped 28 places as the most dangerous place to surf and search on the web according to a new McAfee, Inc. report called “Mapping the Mal Web Revisited” which is released today. Hong Kong takes the mantle from Tokelau, a tiny island of 1,500 inhabitants in the South Pacific.”Just like the real world, the virtual threats and risks are constantly changing. As our research shows, Web sites that are safe today can be dangerous tomorrow. Surfing the Web based on conventional wisdom is not enough to avoid risk online,” said Jeff Green, Senior Vice President of Product Development & Avert Labs.The second annual McAfee “Mapping the Mal Web” report into the riskiest and safest places on the Web reveals that 19.2% of all Web sites ending in the “.hk” domain pose a security threat(1) to Web users. China (.cn) is second this year with over 11%. By contrast Finland (.fi) replaced Ireland (.is) as the safest online destination with 0.05%, followed by Japan (.jp).The most risky generic domain from 2007’s report became more dangerous with 11.8% of all sites ending in .info posing a security threat and is the third most dangerous domain overall while government websites (.gov) remained the safest generic domain. The most popular domain, .com, is the ninth riskiest overall. The full McAfee “Mapping the Mal Web Revisited” report is available for download at the award-winning McAfee® SiteAdvisor® technology, McAfee analyzed 9.9 million heavily trafficked Web sites found in 265 different country (those ending in country letters e.g. Brazil .br) and generic (those ending in .net or .info for example) domains.The study compared the ratings of sites found in each of the 265 country and generic domains and ranked them by the number of risky Web sites found in each domain that contained adware, spyware, viruses, spam, excessive pop-ups, browser exploits or links to other red-rated sites. (2)The World’s Most Overall Overall The World’s Overall OverallDangerous Country rank in rank in Safest Country rank in rank inWeb Domains 2008 2007 Web Domain 2008 2007(ranked in order) (ranked in order)Hong Kong (.hk) 1 28 Finland (.fi) 74 70PR of China (.cn) 2 11 Japan (.jp) 72 57Philippines (.ph) 4 19 Norway (.no) 71 68Romania (.ro) 5 4 Slovenia (.si) 70 62Russia (.ru) 8 7 Colombia (.co) 69 64Among country domains Romania (.ro) and Russia (.ru) remained in the top five most dangerous places with 6.75% and 6% of their Web sites ranked as risky while country domains like Japan (.jp) and Australia (.au) remained safe surfing environments.Other key findings from McAfee “Mapping the Mal Web Revisited” report 2008 include:

  • The chance of downloading spyware, adware, viruses or other unwanted software from surfing the Web increased 41.5% over 2007
  • Sites which offer downloads such as ringtones and screen savers that are also loaded with viruses, spyware and adware increased over the last year from 3.3% to 4.7%
  • The Philippines (.ph) experienced a 270% increase in overall riskiness
  • Tokelau (.tk) and Samoa (.ws) were notably safer in 2008 dropping to 28th and 12th
  • In Europe, Spain (.es) experienced a 91% increase in overall risk

“For administrators of top-level domains this study should act as a wake-up call. Last year’s report spurred Tokelau’s domain manager to reexamine its policies,” said Jeff Green, Senior Vice President of Product Development & Avert Labs. “Not all domain managers are as accommodating so our mission is to educate consumers of the dangers and protect them in every way they enjoy the Web whether through their PC, the Web itself, or mobile phone. With our new secure search and website safety certification, we’re taking the guesswork out of searching and surfing online so that consumers enjoy a safer Web experience.”Note to editors:

  • The domain risk assessments come from the McAfee SiteAdvisor site rating database. SiteAdvisor tests sites for the presence of risky behaviors such as browser exploits, adware/spyware/Trojans/viruses, high likelihood of receiving spam, affiliation with other risky sites, and aggressive pop-up marketing. Red site ratings are given to Web sites that exhibit one or more of these behaviors. Yellow site ratings are given to sites that merit caution before using
  • Rankings are restricted to 74 heavily tested top level domains and based on percent of red and yellow sites

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