Vietnam's domains are a cyber crime haven

The net domain reserved for Vietnam is a haven of cyber crime with more than half of them hosting malware.

According to the Insecurity outfit McAfee, 58 percent of the sites using Vietnam’s .vn domain had malware installed.

Anyone visiting one of these sites ran the risk of having sensitive data stolen or their computer being hijacked, McAfee worked out.

McAfee visited 27 million live sites worldwide to create its stats. Worldwide 6.2 percent of sites were dodgy which is up from 5.9 percent in 2009.

The report said that the web is getting getting trickier to navigate safely.

Vietnam became a favourite with hi-tech criminals in 2010. In 2009, the country’s domain came 39th in the global risk ranking. Blighty is now the 49th riskiest domain.

Paula Greve, director of web security research for McAfee Labs, said that cybercriminals target regions where registering sites is cheap and convenient and pose the least risk of being caught.

About 15,000 of the 24,000 websites sitting on the .vn domain were home to criminal activity. Many .vn domains are used as redirect points for other malicious sites or to control networks of hijacked computers or botnets.

Sites with the .info suffix are also popular for malicious sites. Apparently the number of spam sites on the domain grew by 94.5 percent. Spam gangs use the implied authority of the .info name to lend credibility to sites peddling fake pills or bogus security software, McAfee claimed.

Malicious sites hosted under the .com domain almost hit one million in 2010 with many being enrolled in long-running malware attacks.

Many .com domains were involved in the Koobface virus outbreak which targeted Windows users who were heavy users of social notworking sites.