In an era where clicking on the wrong link while browsing the web could mean your account will get hacked, and one of your guild members clicking on the wrong link means your guild bank could get emptied as well, it's always good to protect yourself and keep abreast of web security issues.
In that vein, it's worth checking out a new report released by McAfee called Mapping the Mal Web Report Revisited. It tested 9.9 Million websites in 265 domains to find out which ones had a higher risk of exposing visitors to malware, spam, and malicious attacks via a red, yellow, and green system.
If you're a common browser of the WoW General Forums, you're well aware of the constant barrage of keyloggers that show up far more quickly than Blizzard can shut them down. You might have also noticed that many of them come from the .cn (China) domain. It may not be completely your imaginations, as McAfee's testing reports that 11.8% of all .cn domains are full of bad stuff. It actually only came in second, behind the .hk (Hong Kong) domain. 19.2% of .hk websites came up with a red or yellow alert. Both .hk and .cn surpassed last year's most risky domain, .tk (Tokelau), which had a 10.8% rate of risky sites in the 2007 report (and has only a 1.43% rate this year). Even generic domain types got in on the action. 5.26% of .com sites tested red or yellow, as did 11.8% of all .info sites.
As far as outright malicious exploit code goes, that is, code that will automatically install itself on your computer just for opening the site, McAfee reported that just 0.0717% of sites had that type of code. The Romanian domain .ro ended up one of the most risky in that category, with 1.1% of .ro sites having malicious code. Still, clickable downloads with viruses and spyware were still at a much higher 4.7% of all sites, compared to 3.3% of all sites last year.
Again, you can read the full report here. It has tons of breakdowns on the various risk factors by region, by risk type, and more. Certainly, however, the biggest conclusion you can draw from this report is that it's a jungle out there, and it's only getting worse. Be sure to protect your account and be careful of what you link. Use Firefox and browser extensions such as No Script and Adblock Plus to browse if you can, make sure to keep Flash updated, and check WoW Insider's articles on avoiding keyloggers, protecting your account, and more.
[via Yahoo! News]