Mapping the Mal Web - Dell
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Mapping the Mal Web - Dell

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYMapping the Mal WebThe World’s Riskiest Domains

So far, our efforts have resulted in several domainsimproving their rankings. For example, the tinyPacific island of Tokelau earned a 10.1% risk ratingin 2007 and took active steps to increase itssafety following our report. By 2008, it earned arisk rating of 1.43%—an improvement of 85.8%.The 2009 RankingsThis year’s report was produced after analysingmore than 27 million websites and 104 top-leveldomains using McAfee ® SiteAdvisor ® technology,which crawls the web and tests domains for a varietyof security threats. For the first time this year,we also used data from McAfee TrustedSource technology, a web reputation service focused onprotecting businesses.Here is a summary of the results:• 5.8% of all domains tested were risky—Thisis an increase from 2007 and 2008, when 4.1%of sites were rated as risky. (However, we cautionthat since our rating methodology changed thisyear, we cannot say for certain that the overallrisk has increased.)• The riskiest TLD was Cameroon (.CM)—.CMhad a risk rating of 36.7%, while last year’sriskiest domain, .HK (Hong Kong), dropped to34th place with a risk rating of 1.1%.• Commercial (.COM) is the second-riskiestTLD—This heavy-trafficked TLD had a riskrating of 32.2% and was also the most riskygeneric TLD.• Romania (.RO) was the riskiest TLD formalicious downloads—Some 21% of the.RO domains with downloads contained riskyfiles such viruses, spyware, and adware.• Information (.INFO) was the most “spammy”TLD—Of the .INFO sites tested with sign-upforms, 17.2% resulted in unwanted email.• The TLDs with the least risky registrations—Or fewest domains rated risky are:– Governmental (.GOV)– Japan (.JP)– Educational (.EDU)– Ireland (.IE)– Croatia (.HR)Mapping the Mal Web | Executive Summary 3

Threat FindingsIn addition to identifying risky domains, thereport also sheds light on where online risksare moving. The good news is that your risk ofregistering an email address and receiving spamdeclined this year. Of the more than 330,000domains we tested for email, just 2.8% were atrisk for spam, compared to 7.6% last year. It’sworth noting, however, that the volume of spamhas not decreased—just that the number of siteswith “spammy sign-ups” has declined.Sites offering downloads that contain viruses,spyware, adware, and other unwanted programsalso decreased compared to last year. Of thenearly 690,000 sites tested for downloads, 4.5%of them were rated as risky or potentially riskyfor malicious downloads. Last year, 4.7% of thesites tested were declared risky. But once againwe must caution that this does not mean that thenumber of malicious downloads have declined. Itcould just be that they are getting more difficultto find using standard test measures.ConclusionAs our third annual Mapping the Mal Web reportdemonstrates, potential online threats are constantlychanging. Cybercriminals will move their maliciousactivity to regions where registering sites is cheapand convenient and where they are least likely tobe caught. That’s why it’s important that we keepa close eye on where the mal web is moving andwhere we should take caution.Of course, we don’t expect you to keep track ofevery potentially risky domain, especially since theyare not always easy to trace. You may wind up ona relatively safe .FR (France) domain, for instance,and start downloading a file, only to realise thedownload is coming from a .RO (Romania) domain,which is quite risky.The best way to stay safe is to have an up-to-datesecurity suite, like McAfee ® Total Protection, whichalso has safe search technology, like McAfeeSiteAdvisor. Through awareness and intelligenttechnology, we’re aiming to make the web a lotless risky.To read the full Mapping the Mal Web report,visit our Security Advice Center.Mapping the Mal Web | Executive Summary 4

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