Can the Google .co.cc ban be effective?
Google has recently decided to block all pages hosted on the .co.cc domain from appearing in its search results, and the move has sparked discussions.
The search giant has justified its decision by saying that a large number of sites hosted on that particular domain are “spammy or low-quality”. The domain is owned by a Korean company and has often been misused to host phishing sites or malware. According to The Register, the company offers free registration of single sub-domains and bulk-registering of 15,000 addresses for $1,000.
While it is true that in the past the cc.co domain has been heavily abused by cyber criminals, Trend Micro researchers point out that other second-level domains like .rr.nu and .co.tv have since become more popular with them.
They believe that Google’s move is pointless, since cyber criminals routinely jump from one SLD to another in order to keep their schemes afloat. But, what worries them the most is the recent ICANN decision to allow anyone with enough money to become a top-level domain registrar.
“Knowing how the cybercriminal mind works, we are pretty sure this is practically an open invitation for cybercrime gangs to launder money while running a completely malicious TLD,” they point out.
In their opinion, Google can definitely help protecting users from these malicious sites, but by using its insight into the search queries, which would allow it to gather evidence that can be used to put pressure on registrars to terminate malicious SLDs.