Researchers map out web badlands

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Researchers map out web badlands

Domains in Hong Kong, China and the Philippines have been named as the most potentially dangerous on the web.

A recent report by security firm McAfee found that the three nations had the highest percentage of malicious sites within their domain suffixes.

Researchers estimated that roughly 19 per cent of all sites ending with the .hk suffix posed some sort of security threat. Second place was China's .cn with 11 per cent posing a security risk.

The .hk domain took the top spot on the list from Tokelau, a small island in the south Pacific with a population of roughly 1,500. Tokelau's .tk domain fell to 28th overall on the list.

"Just like the real world, the virtual threats and risks are constantly changing," said Jeff Green, senior vice president of product development at McAfee.

"As our research shows, sites that are safe today can be dangerous tomorrow. Surfing the web based on conventional wisdom is not enough to avoid risks."

The .com domain, the most popular on the internet, was ninth riskiest overall, while .gov was the safest among the generic domains.

Finland's .fi was ranked as the safest on the internet, with .05 per cent of sites posing a possible threat. Japan's .jp and Norway's .no rounded out the list of the three safest domains.

"This study should act as a wake-up call for administrators of top-level domains," said Green.
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