In association with heise online

03 December 2009, 17:38

Virus experts warn against Cameroon domains

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According to recommendations from anti-virus service provider McAfee, web users should give country code .cm a wide berth. In its latest survey of the danger posed by top level domains (TLDs), Cameroon has come from nowhere to top the web hazards table.

The attraction of .cm for dodgy characters may be its ability to be easily confused with the generic and much better known .com. Some years ago Cameroon was in the headlines for the wrong reasons when a DNS wildcard entry caused all typos ending with .cm to lead to advertising sites.

The absolute figures put the company's warning into perspective – it found around 57,000 (out of 82,000) .cm domains which it classified as dodgy, but almost a million dodgy .com domains (out of more than 15 billion). Despite weighting the domains by the size of the known name space, .com ends up in second place behind .cm, followed by country codes such as .cn (China), .ws (Samoa) and the generic .info. The UK (.uk) takes the 55th place in McAfee's table out of the 104 TLDs examined, while Ireland (.ie) is Europe's safest web domain at 101st place.


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