Cameroon is worst neighborhood on web for cybersecurity

The malware protection company's Mapping the Mal Web report identifies the African country as the owner of the TLD most likely to represent a cybersecurity risk to the average web user, it said.

The TLD is very easy to mistype when users meant to surf to a .COM domain instead, and in many cases they may not even realize their typographical error if a scammer uses a website registered with a .CM domain to mimic the original destination and deliver malware.

That said, the generic .COM (commercial) TLD is also one of the destinations most likely to represent a risk from a cybersecurity perspective, ranking second in McAfee's weighted table, with a weighted risk ratio of 32.2%.

Overall, six TLDs stood out as the most cybersecurity risk-laden. After .COM, China's .CN, Somoa's .WS, the generic .INFO, and finally the Philippines' .APAC stood out as the riskiest, with the Philippines achieving a 13.1% weighted risk ratio. After that, risks fell off significantly, with the .NET domain scoring only a 5.8% weighted risk ratio.

McAfee acknowledged that it is difficult to compare this year's rankings with cybersecurity risk assessments from previous years, because its methodology has changed. In previous years, it arrived at a ratio by comparing the number of risky sites identified within the TLD to the overall number of sites registered using that TLD.

This year, half of the rating was arrived at that way, while the other half compared a TLD's risky sites with the overall number of risky sites found online. McAfee argued that the latest methodology offers the best real-world cybersecurity risk assessment for users.

Overall, scammers like TLDs with certain characteristics, the report said. Registrars that allow them to register websites in volume of very attractive to criminals, and of course, cheap registration fees are helpful for crooks registering hundreds of thousands of sites at a time. Registrars that don't respond very quickly to take down requests and don't regulate their customers very much also attract criminals.

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