The Web's Shadiest Neighborhoods: What You Need to Know

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Malicious Activity

Malicious activity continues to increase.

Dr. Egon Spengler might as well have been describing malicious web activity when he said, "Well, let's say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning's sample, it would be a Twinkie... thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds."

That's a big Twinkie. And a big dose of malicious activity dominating shady TLDs, namely, scams, spam, suspicious activity and potentially unwanted software (PUS). Most of these websites are being leveraged by attackers in spam and scams and to distribute potentially unwanted software. Others are related to search engine optimization/ positioning or other "junk sites" that would be classified as suspicious.

Much like in the streets of New York City in "Ghostbusters," suspicious activity is happening in varying degrees all over the web. The relative risk of visiting a website in a "shady" neighborhood can vary dramatically depending on who is managing the "residents" there.

What many users may not realize is that the letters following the "." in a website address represent a top-level domain (TLD) – essentially a "neighborhood" of addresses – maintained by a specific company or group. Ideally, TLDs would all be run by security-conscious operators who diligently review new domain name applications, and reject those that don't meet a stringent set of criteria.

Unfortunately, the reality for many of these new neighborhoods is that they go unpoliced, like Slimer wreaking havoc on the 12th floor of the Sedgewick Hotel. To avoid getting slimed, businesses and consumers need guidance to understand how safe, or how shady, these new TLDs may be considered for web security purposes.

Courtesy of Blue Coat research, let's take a closer look at the web's shadiest neighborhoods.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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