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Security The Internet

Riskiest Web Domains To Visit 106

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the shocking-that-the-biggest-is-the-worst dept.
wiredmikey writes "According to a report released today, .COM is the riskiest top-level domain, the riskiest country domain is Vietnam (.VN). Japan's .JP ranks as the safest country domain for the second year in a row and TRAVEL as the safest overall domain. It's interesting to note that .JP (currently $89.99 at GoDaddy) and .TRAVEL ($89.99 at Moniker) domains are also some of the most expensive domains. Are cybercriminals getting cheap with other people's credit cards? Or do the higher price make it more risky?"
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Riskiest Web Domains To Visit

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  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @11:32AM (#34025452) Homepage
    ...obviously means scammers, hackers, etc can't buy as many of them, so they're going to go for the cheapies.
    • Domain Tasting

      Cheap domains let them drop a few thousand dollars on a one-time credit card and keep recycling them. That's where they get things like "vniht698.com" and just keep recycling them without paying. Supposedly ICANN finally made the 20 cent fee non-refundable so that in lots of 1000+ it starts costing non-trivial money.

    • by garwain (688087)
      If they steal my credit card (pick one, any one) they would be lucky to have enough left on it to buy a .com from godaddy. Some people call credit card debt a problem, I call it a safety feature.
  • by jez9999 (618189) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @11:32AM (#34025466) Homepage Journal

    This is quite possibly the most pointless report ever compiled.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      This is quite possibly the most pointless report ever compiled.

      Not according to travel.jp ;-)

    • *.jp is safer because that country uses almost nothing but DSL.
      That's my story and sticking with it. ;-)

    • by RDW (41497) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:17PM (#34026846)

      'This is quite possibly the most pointless report ever compiled.'

      It doesn't even warn about the most dangerous TLD of all, ".pl", which is really just a trick to get the victim to execute a Perl script! URLs with this suffix usually map to a site with unintelligible placeholder text (looks like rot13 or something, e.g.: http://www.linux.pl/ [linux.pl] ) but by the time you see this the script has already been run and the damage done!

      • Please, do tell, how do you determine if Perl has been encrypted with rot13?

        It still works, and usually it even does the same thing, only with better syntax. I'm pretty sure that rot-13 encryption is a stage of Perl debugging.

        As for dangerous domains - you forgot ".sh". Sites from this domain could do rm -rf before you click "back".

    • by BraksDad (963908)

      This is quite possibly the most pointless report ever compiled.

      I am sure a majority of federal and state government reports would compete favorably for that prize.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @11:33AM (#34025486)

    We could call it .MALWARE or .INFECTED or .BADSTUFFINSTALLEDONYOURCOMPUTER. All the bad stuff would be relegated to this new domain.

    Please note that my idea is no less insightful than the referenced article which is very insightful.

  • by Norsefire (1494323) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @11:36AM (#34025528) Journal
    Computers can be repaired, what has been seen cannot be unseen.
  • Measurements? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Reilaos (1544173) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @11:36AM (#34025530) Homepage

    How do you measure risk?

    If a domain is 100% infected with software that cleans up your inbox for you more "risky" than one 50% infected with software that goes and registers you as a sex offender, steals your credit card numbers and posts your porn habits on the web?

    • by sorak (246725)

      one 50% infected with software that goes and registers you as a sex offender, steals your credit card numbers and posts your porn habits on the web?

      Facebook?

    • by martas (1439879)
      chances are the relative distribution of types of malware will be the same across domains, so i don't think that's an issue... still worth looking into, tho
  • Since ICANN has already committed to start selling gTLDs to anyone with enough money.
  • by sohmc (595388) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @11:38AM (#34025562) Journal

    The best way to increase profit is by reducing cost.

    Buying a domain for $90 dollars is far more expensive than a domain for $5-10 bucks.

    Also, people are used to seeing ".com" addresses. .TRAVEL, et al are still relatively new.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NYMeatball (1635689)

      The best way to increase profit is by reducing cost.

      I know this is verging on off topic, but I have to disagree with this completely. This reminds me of the corporate tactics of today. Surely if we aren't spending money, we'll make tons of money!

      The only way this strategy ever works is when you are guaranteed to have maxed out on every single opportunity for growth, be it "vertical", "organic", "synergized" or otherwise. Cutting cost isn't always the best way to increase profit, its simply the easiest becau

  • Your privacy will be at big risk connecting with domains that end in facebook.com
    • by internewt (640704)

      That's pretty much what I was going to say. From my point of view, any site that tries to compromise my privacy is a security risk, and most of the big data-rapists are on .coms, Google analytics, Facebook, Webtrends, etc.. These advertisers and tracking domains are dotted about very liberally on the web, and there are few pages I load these days that don't have something blocked in Adblock, or an untrusted domain in NoScript.

      Shit, just had a look in Adblock for this page, and there is another domain that I

      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        I recommend Ghostery [mozilla.org]. Detects and optionally blocks tracking sites and receives updates every once in a while to keep up with new ones. I just had a look and sure enough they already know about Demandbase.

        The info page [ghostery.com] reveals that Demandbase offers to track "all Web site visitors in your target market, including those who do not submit their contact information" and allow you to "integrate them with your direct marketing programs - from email campaigns to telesales". So yeah, they advertise knowing uncom
  • Or they'll create a .safe TLD and charge some ridiculous registration fee.
  • by tverbeek (457094) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @11:43AM (#34025616) Homepage

    It isn't the $89.99, but the $89.99 times 1000 junk domains.

    Plus different TLD operators have different policies: some actually police who can register, requiring that the perp put some effort into pretending to be eligible to use them. .COM obviously does not.

    There's also the factor that nobody has ever heard of .TRAVEL (so it looks bogus), but .COM is familiar and friendly-looking.

    • by rakuen (1230808)
      I think your last sentence is the real kicker. We could come up with a TLD that costs less than a .com, but if it doesn't have the recognition factor, it's not going to matter. People will use what they're familiar with and tend to avoid the unknown.
    • Another major contributor to this crap is their bad statistics. This is a law of small numbers, similar to when a baseball player is batting .500 early in the season (a .400 season's average is godly). There isn't enough data to make that a meaningful number. TLDs like .VN are very small quantities, so they are easily overrun by a few spammers buying their typical bulk quantities of spamvertising domains.

      Reports like this can accidentally suggest dangerous blanket blacklisting. I think it's far better

  • Even more safe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @11:48AM (#34025702)

    My country domain (Bulgaria - bg) costs 130$ and only one company can sell is - register.bg. For many years we all have complained about this monopoly, there was many petitions and stuff (we won in some way - now there`re two resellers working for register.bg) but this way has some advantages for example:

    1. No one could register government like domains - president.bg and so on
    2. If you want to register company name. google.bg for example, you have to provide official registration papers for the company
    3. There isn`t even one single spam or other related issue with .bg domain, if someone try to use it for illegal purpuses register.bg will wipe the domain and file official complain to the police.
    4. Individuals cannot register .bg, they get to choose from yourname.[a-z].bg and you cannot register viagra.a.bg it got to be your real name(you can if your name is Viagra :D )

    It is in some way very restrictive and the bureaucracy is a big pain, but the country domain name is important and if someone is misusing it everyone blame the country.

    • by professorguy (1108737) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:15PM (#34026820)

      3. There isn`t even one single spam or other related issue with .bg domain, if someone try to use it for illegal purpuses register.bg will wipe the domain and file official complain to the police.

      So, your website gets hacked and a page is uploaded which delivers malware to visitors. It wasn't your fault, you've kept it patched and backup the logs, but the hackers had a 0-day in their toolkit.

      So now YOU lose your domain and go to jail? Nice system you got there.

      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        certainly cuts down on the "but it wasn't my fault" crowd.

        host your website off a windows machine with your webserver running as admin and it IS your fault that you got hacked.

        if computer owners were held liable for negligence when their machine participates in DDOS then maybe people would take computer and information security seriously
    • So I guess the band Via Gra should be fine, then...

  • by Ponyegg (866243) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @11:52AM (#34025752)

    I work in online advertising, specifically I look after a major UK publisher's adservers/ad-delivery. We use the following to keep an eye on identified malware delivering domains:

    http://www.malwaredomainlist.com/mdl.php [malwaredomainlist.com]
    http://www.malwaredomains.com/ [malwaredomains.com]
    http://www.malwareurl.com/ [malwareurl.com]
    http://www.anti-malvertising.com/ [anti-malvertising.com]

  • We have free software and with hand-me-down free hardware, we can build our OWN free internet.
    Enough is enough!
    • You mean like FidoNet or Usenet? That's not working out so great. Usenet became absorbed into the "evil" internet, and FidoNet is just about dead.

  • TIME.TRAVEL is finally safe to visit? I'm not buying it.
  • by mysidia (191772) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @12:11PM (#34026020)

    It is more expensive to register domains on a "premium" TLD. Since fewer domains are registered on the TLDs, there will be fewer used by spammers.

    Because people black list domains used by spammers; URI-based blacklists, and RHS blacklists that blacklist by domain name. Spam filters start to recognize them, in any case.

    So spammers register thousands of domains at the cheapest prices available (probably using stolen cards or multiple shell companies)

    .NET and .COM are probably the cheapest TLDs to register throwaway domains on.

    It follows, that spam might be reduced, with greater costs or qualifications to register a domain.

    I for one would be in favor of a "paper" requirement.

    ICANN should require that every domain have a primary 'contact address' verified by the registrar that is listed in public WHOIS.

    ICANN should require registrars to verify BY PAPER certified+restricted mail to each new primary contact address, which must be an address in a country the registrar does business in, and may not be a PO Box or forwarded address.

    The registrant should be required to SIGN a document mailed, and send it back, before the domain can be placed in the zone. And the signature must match the signature on the mail slip.

    The slip signed must include a statement agreeing to the ICANN policies, and certifying that the signer is the principal, and the address provided belongs to the principal who owns the domain, and not a proxy, agent, or designee.

    And from then on, that 'contact information' can be used by the owner of THAT account to designate as the org contact for domains registered or transferred. Using a different contact for a domain, requiring going through verification again.

    For a minor inconvenience, spammers could be stopped.

    • For a minor inconvenience, spammers could be stopped.

      ...until they just rootkit a few servers that is on someone else's domain. Really, your proposal would just stop criminals from registering throw away domains, and switch to buying/leasing botnets of infected computers.
      • Re:Nice try (Score:4, Insightful)

        by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@noSpAm.yahoo.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @02:04PM (#34027502) Journal

        Which they aren't doing already?

        Just because one approach wouldn't stop all forms of spam, doesn't mean it couldn't significantly impact spam overall by eliminating one or more vectors.

        • by Jesus_666 (702802)
          No. A solution that isn't 100% effective with no downsides whatsoever is not a solution. This is plain to see from just about any discussion on any topic ever.
      • by mysidia (191772)

        ...until they just rootkit a few servers that is on someone else's domain.

        They already do, but there are a finite relatively small number of servers that they can easily rootkit, and once those are blacklisted, they're blacklisted.

        It might not be perfect, but it makes things much harder, for spammers: using totally fake information and stolen CCs to register domains becomes especially hard, since they now need a fraudulent physical address they can take mail at, risks of getting caught are higher, and

    • Someone needs to post that checklist of why that won't work.

    • by mhollis (727905)

      That is just not practical. I develop and host websites. If I need to change registrars because someone wasn't happy with their web designer and they came to me. As it is today, it can take up to 10 days to complete a registrar change.

      I am using Melbourne IT as my registrar because my hosting provider works well with them. Certified mail to and from another country would take upwards of two weeks -- and all that time my client is waiting.

      I completely understand the eagerness to deny spammers and malware fi

      • by mysidia (191772)

        That is just not practical. I develop and host websites. If I need to change registrars because someone wasn't happy with their web designer and they came to me.

        The registrar is responsible for registering the domain and has nothing whatsoever to do with design or hosting.

    • Seriously, you make buying a domain name sound WORSE than going to the DMV. First off, what's the point of having employees if the principal can't delegate responsibilities such as picking up certified mail and signing for it, acting as agent and signing a contract (which is what you're speaking of with the "matching signatures" point), and lastly, many businesses use a PO Box for whatever reason, and where I live, there is NO local delivery (I guess 2 blocks is too far for the USPS to manage to haul my ma
      • by mysidia (191772)

        Seriously, you make buying a domain name sound WORSE than going to the DMV. First off, what's the point of having employees if the principal can't delegate responsibilities such as picking up certified mail and signing for it,

        The registry could offer some flexibility in regards to the PO Box rule by offering another option: have a statement signed by two different witnesses and notarized.

        The registrar would be required to verify the notarization, and provide a publicly viewable scan of the document, w

  • Risk of WHAT? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @12:16PM (#34026078) Homepage Journal

    Risk of what? Risk of "falling in" and coming out of your trance 3 hours later with 20 new browser tabs open? tvtropes and wikipedia are both .orgs, so I bet .org is the riskiest TLD.

    It's pretty funny: even if you RTFA it doesn't really say what the risk is. The fact that they quote McAfee implies that they're talking about a risk of Windows users deciding to download and install malware from websites, but this isn't actually stated.

    • by jecowa (1152159)
      When I read the headline, I thought it meant risk of homeland security deciding your a terrorist – like what happened to that dude who wrote a stupid blog post and got a warrantless tracking device installed on his car by the authorities.

      If they're talking about computer viruses. just don't install the things. It's not that difficult to not install a virus.
    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      Risk of "falling in" and coming out of your trance 3 hours later with 20 new browser tabs open? tvtropes and wikipedia are both .orgs, so I bet .org is the riskiest TLD.

      This is true, I visited tvtropes one Saturday afternoon; when I regained consciousness it was Wednesday, I was naked and there were three dead hookers in the basement.

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      Don't forget slashdot.org and the risk of serious productivity loss.

  • Surely (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ninjacheeseburger (1330559) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @12:18PM (#34026108)

    I would of thought .gov would be the safest domain.

  • In credit cards, charges over $50 are in a different category. Typically the cardholder is responsible for $50 and less, so those charges aren't screened by the credit corp as much since the credit corp isn't liable. This is why frauds usually charge under $50, even if just testing for a larger hit or assembling small (under $50) charges into a big charge.

    So charging over $50, like TRAVEL and .jp do, would screen out some fraudulent charges on stolen card numbers.

    We need onetime passwords instead of sharing

  • Atm I have 1 charge on my CC, its for .... actually I wont say, thats a helpful bit of security info there! But anyway, if it went up by £9.99 - common price for .COM domain over here - I'd likely not notice....

    However, if it suddenly rose by £89.99, I'd surely notice.

    Or did we forget that malware works by NOT being noticed. These people are experts at staying hidden.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:19PM (#34026880) Homepage

    With a massive and diverse category like a top-level domain, the only statement you can make is "56% of malicious domains are .com"

    Concluding, from this, that ".com is the riskiest domain" is like saying "people with long hair are the least likely to murder you" based on how many murders are committed by people with long hair. Actually, it fails on two counts: Firstly, 56% of malicious domains end in .com because most domains do. A better measure would be the relative percentage of malicious domains for a given TLD.

    Even that statistic would only say anything about "risk" if you randomly picked a domain under the .com TLD (with perfectly equal chances for each). People don't use the internet like that; they use it by following links from popular sites to other popular sites. One of those neat little obvious-in-hindsight discoveries; there was a small search engine who made it big by using that.

  • I do have to admit, I'm human. Whenever I see a .com domain walking down the street, I get a bit worried. Sometimes I cross the street until he goes past. If I see one get on an airplane I'm getting on, my heartbeat goes up a few notches and I call my wife and kids in the few remaining minutes before the door closes to say I love them and I'll try to come home safe.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a call coming in from Vivian Schiller, and then I need to get ready for my daily news report for NPR.

  • In other news, researchers have revealed that most mass-murderers had 2 arms, 2 legs and 2 eyes. So be especially wary of such people.
  • Since .COM has been around so much longer, and since eighty bazillion Internet squatters snapped up addresses during the dot com bubble, only to abandon them after the bubble burst, there's a lot more unattended .COM real estate overall. Very sophisticated hackers don't even have to pay money - they just need to break into an unattended URL, use the 50 free megs of space that most websites came with through Dot Easy or whatever, and stuff their malware there.
  • Surprisingly safe!

  • made on bullshit statistics again. .com is the riskiest, because internet = com for A LOT of people on the face of planet, and whatever is done, is done on com domains, be it legit business or fraud.

    this is the second time some bull was served to us on slashdot based on ridiculous statistics in 2 days' time.
  • FTFA:

    It (sic) August, McAfee released its report on the Top 10 Most Dangerous Celebrities online in which Cameron Diaz took the top spot.

    Yeah, keep us posted on those dangerous celebs, McAfee. Not only are they diluting the value of your entertainment dollar, they're also after your lolcat collection! The problem's so monumental, we can't even take the time to proofread our blurbs!

    There's your metric on whether this article should be taken seriously or not, /. .

  • I work for a hosting company and higher priced domains are simply easier for the people with stolen credit cards to spot on their statements.

    If it's minor they tend to shrug it oas soemthing trivial they did, but larger purchases grab their attention.

    What really surprises me is how long some people will let a $9.95/mo. charge sit on their acct. before they take action and investigate it... in quite a few cases it's YEARS. I also noticed that a fraudster will tend to use a stolen card to register one o
  • As the subject line suggests I think they are banking on ignorance. Of all the millions upon millions of internet users how many of them actually know what a domain is? Beyond that how many of them actually think about what they are doing on the internet? They get an intereting looking email and the click the link and poof they are infected. for all the ease and conveinence that GUI's have been there is a con to the pros. GUI's hav enabled the unthinking to access almost any part of the world an open them s
  • by mahadiga (1346169)

    Hence it is safe to use Japanese DNS
    http://aruljohn.com/track.pl?host=210.134.143.7 [aruljohn.com]

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