Scam WATCH Series: A Treasure Trove For Cyber Criminals
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Study Reveals That Web Address Explosion Is A Treasure Trove For Cyber Criminals
The study reveals that the TLDs (Top-Level Domains) with the "shadiest" sites are exclusively utilized for malicious purposes.
A lot of the security experts had warned that the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) decision to permit a host of new commercial generic top rated Internet domains was going to make an abundance of chances for internethackers & scammers for exploiting shady domains. Experts have revealed that many top-level domains are utilized almost entirely to support spam campaigns, botnets & phishing.
Scammers are always searching for new Internet domains for links to assist users to download malware, disclose personal details or spam their buddies. Also, Web liberalization has expanded the range of top-level domains tenfold in the past 2 years.
A US-based security and networking solutions provider Blue Coat has revealed new research for businesses & consumers that shows the TLDs or "neighborhoods," mostly linked with suspicious sites. The company examined an incredible number of Web requests throughout 15,000 businesses & 75 million customers to test the authenticity of ten different Top-Level Domains. The company security team claims a domain was regarded "suspicious" if it included a botnet link, spam, malware, scams, potentially unnecessary software (PUS) or was relevant to phishing activities.
The major findings reveal that more than 95% of websites in ten different TLDs are rated as suspicious & dangerous, wherein the most dangerous Top-Level Domains that contained one form of shady activity were .review & .zip, while the most secure new ones were .london, .church & .tel.
"The increase in Shady Top-Level Domains as disclosed by Blue Coat's research is in turn offering increased the chance for the bad guys to partake in destructive activity. In order to construct a better security posture, knowledge about which websites are the most suspicious & how to stay away from them, is important for businesses & consumers alike."
"Ideally, Top-Level Domains would all be managed by security-conscious operators who carefully review new domain name apps & reject those that do not meet a strict set of criteria," Blue Coat composed in its study.
As of August 2015, the worst 10 TLDs for malicious domains, were:
- .link (96.98%)
- .gq (97.68%)
- .party (98.07%)
- .work (98.20%)
- .science (99.35%)
- .cricket (99.57%)
- .kim (99.74%)
- .country (99.97%)
- .review (100.00%)
- .zip (100.00%)
On the flip side, the cleanest TLDs seem to be:
- .jp (Japan) (1.95%)
- .london (1.85%)
- .kw (Kuwait) (1.61%)
- .tel (1.60%)
- .gl (Gibraltar) (1.26%)
- .gov (0.96%),
- .church (0.84%)
- .ck (Cook Islands) (0.52%)
- .jobs (0.36%)
- .mil (0.24%)
As outlined by the Blue Coat experts, custom domains are generally utilized in spam & scam campaigns, as nearly all of the users usually believe that these latest generic domain names are tough to get by or are very expensive.
It's challenging to tell users & request them to don't forget to take extra care when accessing one domain extension or another. However, Blue Coat security experts do suggest that businesses venture consider blocking traffic that results in the dangerous TLDs. The users must also take care against linking on links according to these TLDs if received over social networks or email.