McAfee Ranks the World’s Most Dangerous Domains

By: Qichen Zhang on 26 October 2010

Internet virus protection producer and security company McAfee recently released their “Mapping the Mal Web” report for 2010. In their calculation of dangerous websites, McAfee took into account characteristics such as whether the site uses spyware pop-ups, whether it installs malware onto a visitor’s computer, and “launches other browser exploits,” according to PC World. Researchers surveyed over 27 million websites over the Internet when conducting their analyses. The report lists the risks of all country top level domains as well as other common domains.

Expectedly, .com came out on top of the list due to the large amount of commercial websites that are registered globally. But surprisingly, Vietnam’s .vn was the third riskiest domain with 30% risk of being a dangerous website. According to the HuffPo, this marks a huge jump from their ranking last year at just 39th (see last year’s report).

Cameroon was also reported having one of the riskiest domains (.cm). Taking advantage of common typos that occur when users want to go to a .com site, websites registered with the .cm appendage target the high probability of this common mistake in order to make their attacks.

On the other end of the list, Japan’s .jp maintained its 2009 status as the safest domain with only 0.1% risk, keeping their spot from last year’s ranking.

Overall, the number of risky sites on the web rose to 6.2%, a slight increase from 5.8% in the previous year. Researchers who worked on the report mention the jump in their analysis, saying:

"Although we used a different methodology in the first two years, the trend line—up and to the right—seems to be holding. The web is getting trickier to navigate safely."

For more information, see the Huffington Post with slides and statistics.