Free .ML Domains Come With Extra Phishing

Registering domain names in Mali’s ccTLD, .ml, has been free since July, but they come with an added bonus – phishing. According to a report published by Netcraft, “Mali now has the most phishy top-level domain of any country in the world.”

According to the report, there are one in 17 “incidents to sites” for the 581 websites using .ml domains. Netcraft report there are 34 sites currently blocked due to phishing incidents. This is a long way ahead of the second worst ccTLD for phishing incidents, the .ne (Niger) which has a total of 170 sites with two of these currently blocked for phishing incidents, or one in 85.

Of ccTLDs with more than 100,000 sites, the worst is .cl (Chile) that has 280,540 sites, 510 of which are currently blocked due to phishing incidents, a ratio of one in 550. And for ccTLDs with more than one million sites, .ar (Argentina) is worst 450 sites currently blocked out of 1,001,660, a ratio of one in 2,225.

The Malian ccTLD recently joined .tk (Tokelau), whose registry operator Dot TK is a subsidiary of Freedom Registry who is the registry operator for .ml, and is the largest ccTLD with over 15 million registrations and who also had major problems with phishing. But Dot TK introduces an anti-abuse API to allow trusted partners to shut down sites that use .tk. Netcraft note that “this dramatically reduced the average uptime of phishing sites which used .tk domains, making it a less attractive platform for fraudsters. Indeed, .tk does not even appear within the top 50 phishiest TLDs today; however, considering .tk and .ml share the same owner, this makes it somewhat surprising to see .ml being so heavily abused already.”

For the complete list compiled by Netcraft of the world’s 50 phishiest ccTLDs, go to