The US domain registry is one of the world’s most abused top-level domains. This revelation came in an investigation and assessment of the extent domain names registered in the US and PR zones are associated with abusive activity.
The study conducted by Interisle Consulting Group in December 2018 found that .US domains are the worst in the world for spam, botnet (attack infrastructure for DDOS etc.) and illicit or harmful content. Abusive activity is customarily understood to include phishing, malware distribution, botnet command and control and spam. The study focused on spam as the most reliable proxy for abuse in general, as it is the preferred delivery method for attacks in other three categories.
Analysing the data collected, the study found that 24 per cent of all malicious bot operators use .US domain registry.
Further, .US is one of the worst country code top-level domain (ccTLDs). The study concluded, “The US zone is persistently used by spammers and has been for many years. Raw counts of spam domains frequently place US at the top of the list of most abused ccTLDs, and prior to the introduction of new gTLDs, US was frequently among the top five most abused among all TLDs.”
Curiously, Neustar, which manages many top-level domain registries, including .US, has now been given the mandate to manage India’s .IN registry.