Cameroon may not have been top of the pops at the just-finished African Cup of Nations, but it has surpassed Hong Kong (.hk) to win the dubious honour of being the Web's riskiest domain.
McAfee's third annual Mapping the Mal Web report says Cameroon's .cm domain is the world's riskiest, while Japan's .jp is the safest country domain.
The commerical domain – .com – jumped from the ninth to second most dangerous domain, while government (.gov) is the safest non-country domain.
“Cameroon, a small African country that borders Nigeria, jumped to the number one spot this year with 36.7% of the .cm domain posing a security risk, but did not even make the list last year,” says Andrea van der Westhuizen, product manager: McAfee at Workgroup.
“Because the domain .cm is a common typo for .com, many cybercriminals set up fake typo-squatting site that lead to malicious downloads, spyware, adware and other potentially unwanted programs.”
Following aggressive measures from .hk’s domain managers to clamp down on scam-related registrations last year, Hong Kong fell 33 spots from the most risky domain in 2008 to the 34th most risky domain in 2009. Now, only 1.1% of .hk sites pose a risk, whereas last year nearly one in five .hk Web sites were risky.
Among country domains, the People’s Republic of China (.cn) and Samoa (.ws) remained in the top five most dangerous places in the last two years.
Using McAfee SiteAdvisor technology and data from McAfee TrustedSource technology, McAfee analysed more than 27 million country and generic Web domains and calculated a weighted risk ratio.
SiteAdvisor tests Web sites for browser exploits, phishing, excessive pop-ups and malicious downloads and gives sites that fail a rating.
TrustedSource technology is a comprehensive Internet reputation system that analyses Web traffic patterns, site behaviour, hosted content, and more, to provide insight into site security risk.