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10 Most Abused Top Level Domains Update

August 5, 2019

It's been quite a while since we looked at Spamhaus's "bad domains" list - and there's been big changes in the top 10 since. But Australia's .au still isn't among them.

The Spamhaus Project, which has been around for more than two decades, is an international nonprofit organization that tracks spam and related cyber threats, plus maintains blocklists used by many ISPs and hosting services to help minimise spam winding up in customers' inboxes. Estimates vary as to how much spam is zapping around the internet at any given time, but it's put at anywhere between 45% and upwards of 70% of overall email volume.

Some Top Level Domains (TLDs) seem to be worse than others with regard to spam and other threats. Here's how the top 10 "baddest" domains looked in descending order of badness according to Spamhaus as at August 2.

A couple of things stand out with this list compared to the top ten we mentioned in May last year.

Australia's .au ccTLD continues to keep pretty squeaky-clean image, with only 0.7% considered bad compared to .gdn's 94%. However, the .au result is significantly higher than in March last year when it was just 0.2%, a level that has been maintained by our .nz cousins across the ditch. Still, Australia's ongoing solid reputation on this front is another good reason to register a .au domain.

Spamhaus says where a ratio of bad to good domains is higher than average (and Australia's certainly doesn't fit this bill), this indicates the registry could do a better job of enforcing policies and shunning abusers.

"Enable badness and the stats will speak for themselves," says the organisation. "Everyone who has a role in the running of the internet has a responsibility to put processes and procedures in place to stop abuse."

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