The Cameroon government has launched a promotional campaign to boost registrations and use of the country’s ccTLD .cm with a huge reduction in registration fees, according to a report in Business in Cameroon.
Cameroonâs ccTLD, best known for attracting scammers and spammers who typosquat the equivalent .com domain names, is reducing the annual registration fee from CFA130,000 (US$233) to CFA7,000 ($12.50) according to a report in Business in Cameroon.
According to the report, there is a low awareness of the Cameroonian country code top level domain, with Ebot Ebot Enaw, director of the countryâs national ICT agency saying âthat many people do not know where they can register .cm domain names and some do not even know the price.â
To address the lack of awareness, Cameroon Telecommunications has launched a promotional campaign for the countryâs ccTLD to explain the advantages of .cm domain names and how they can be registered. As of 2016 there were around 53,000 .cm domain names registered, with price being a major disincentive.
But there may be another disincentive. As Krebs on Security reported in March this year, âif you try to visit some of the most popular destinations on the Web but omit the âoâ in .com (and type .cm instead), thereâs a good chance your browser will be bombarded with malware alerts and other misleading messages â potentially even causing your computer to lock up completely.â Having your companyâs domain name in such a crime-ridden ccTLD may not be much of an incentive for businesses and consumers.
With prices being lowered, and without changes in eligibility, itâs likely .cm will only become even more spammier. Itâs also unclear if the reduction applies to second and/or third level domains.
Cameroon’s ccTLD (.CM) is the most dangerous TLD when it comes to malicious websites according to McAfee’s third annual Mapping the Mal Web report released this week. .CM overtook .HK (Hong Kong) as the riskiest domain. The safest TLD was .JP (Japan), being among the five safest TLDs for five years running..COM, the largest TLD in the world, jumped from the ninth to second most dangerous domain, while .GOV (government) is the safest non-country domain.McAfee rated 27 million websites and 104 top level domains for their report and found 5.8 per cent posed a security risk, or more than 1.5 million risky websites.The ccTLDs (country code Top Level Domains) ranked the most risky following .CM were .CN (China – 23.4%, up from 11.8% in 2008), .WS (Samoa – 17.8%, up from 3.8%), .PH (Philippines – 13.1%, up from 7.7%) and .SU, the ccTLD for the former Soviet Union with 5.2 per cent of .SU websites classified as risky with no ranking in 2008.Cameroon, a small African country that borders Nigeria, jumped to the number one spot this year with 36.7 per cent of the .CM domain posing a security risk, but did not even make the list last year. 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.A big improver this year was .HK (Hong Kong) following aggressive measures from the registry 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 per cent of .HK sites pose a risk, whereas last year nearly one in five .HK web sites were risky.The safest ccTLDs following .JP and rounding out the top five were .IE (Ireland), .HR (Croatia), .LU (Luxembourg) all with 0.1 per cent of websites with the various ccTLDs rated risky and then .VU (Vanuatu – 0.2%). All ccTLDs had less than one per cent of websites with the various domains rated risky in 2008.Sites registered to the Asia-Pacific domains are significantly riskier than the overall web with 13 per cent of sites posing a threat. This region includes the second riskiest domain, .CN, and also, ironically, the safest with .JP..IE is Europe’s safest domain with only 0.1 per cent risky sites.”This report underscores how quickly cybercriminals change tactics to lure in the most victims and avoid being caught. Last year, Hong Kong was the riskiest domain and this year it is dramatically safer,” said Mike Gallagher, chief technology officer for McAfee Labs. “Cybercriminals target regions where registering sites is cheap and convenient, and pose the least risk of being caught.”As a guide, ccTLD domains from developing or less developed countries tended to be more risky than those from developed countries.The report aims to help identify potentially risky TLDs, outlining the world’s riskiest and safest in terms of whether they contain risky websites and malicious downloads or send out spam. McAfee state their goal in doing this research is to encourage registries and users to become better educated and more aware of risky sites as well as celebrating safer TLDs so that others can follow their best practices.For more information and to download the report in full, see:
us.mcafee.com/en-us/local/docs/Mapping_Mal_Web.pdf [full report]
Mr Moustapha Saya Kaigama, president of NETCOM.cm says, “This is a very exciting time for us, and a big dream come true. Today we see the CM name space open to everyone worldwide. We are very pleased that we can offer 2nd level .CM domain registrations (CO.CM COM.CM and NET.CM). This is also a great opportunity to get your very own Cameroon domain name”.
Even since the inception of ccTLDs, the Republic of Cameroon has lagged behind other ccTLD providers due to lack of infrastructure and technical expertise. With the help of its valued partners, and the founding of Netcom.CM Sarl,Â the Republic of Cameroon is pleased to be able to provide their own ccTLD name space to the world.
Moustapha exclaims, “We expect the CM name space to grow in popularity and over time become a dominant ccTLD name space”. Moustapha continues, “I would also like to thank our esteemed team of registrars. Without them, this launch would not be successful”.
Second Level CM domain names can be registered through any accredited Netcom Registrar.