New Study Ranks .XXX as One of Safest TLDs

LEESBURG, Va. — .XXX is one of the safest top-level domains in terms of detecting and mitigating malware and other abusive devices, according to a new study released by Internet security firm Architelos.

Only two other TLDs — .tel and .no — ranked ahead of .XXX in  Architelos' Namespace Quality Index.

.XXX was placed by Architelos in the "excellent" category, while such popular TLDs, including .com and .org, ended up in the "exercise caution" slot.

"The stats on .XXX [and other TLDs] represent abusive domain listed on blocklists per million domains under management," Architelos' Alexa Raad told XBIZ.

"The types of abuse include domains used for phishing, malware, botnet command-and-control and domains advertised via spam sent from botnets and by other abusive means."

Stuart Lawley, the CEO of .XXX operator ICM Registry, told XBIZ that the study's findings are substantive.

"We are immensely proud of this [ranking] being effectively the second safest TLDs in existence — .tel doesn't really count as you can't host a website," Lawley said.

Since its rollout in late 2011, every .XXX domain has been scanned for vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, browser exploits and phishing sites, reputational analysis and malware.

ICM Registry reported in May that it had  206,000 .XXX domain names in the system. Defensive blocks accounted for about 85,000 .XXX names, leaving 120,000 recurring names.

Last year, ICM Registry announced its applications for additional TLDs, including .sex, .porn and .adult. ICANN has not yet decided on its applications.

Architelos also said in its latest study that the total number of active abusive  domains  increased 25 percent from December 2012 to May 2013. The Internet has more than 250 million domain names.

"More abusive domains are being found than removed," Architelos said. "As a result the namespace quality of the Internet is decreasing. Within  the  first five  months of 2013, across  all TLDs, more than 400,000 new abusive domains were found and added to blocklists on a monthly basis."

View Architelos study

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