Spam island-hopping: a new threat
A new trend known as spam island-hopping is on the rise. Island-hopping spammers
use the domain names of small islands as Web site links in spam campaigns. Traditionally,
spammers have used well-known Top Level Domains (TLDs) such as .com, .biz or
.info. By using TLDs from small island countries, spammers attempt to avoid
detection since these domains are not commonly found in spam filters.
This trend was initially discovered when McAfee researchers noticed a significant
increase in the use of .st domains, which is the TLD for Sao Tome and Principe,
a small island off the west coast of Africa. The unusual activity raised flags
for McAfees researchers, who tracked the spammers on a virtual migration
around the globe. Subsequently, spam using TLDs from small islands has continued
The small islands listed in the table below are being favoured
by spammers, according to McAfee.
||Cocos (Keeling) Islands
||Isle of Man
||Sao Tome and Principe