‘.hk’ Domain Name Spamvertising & Phishing Cases Record Average Daily Drop of 92% from Last Year
Drastic Decline Proves Stringent Measures Taking Effect

Hong Kong, June 5, 2008 – A drastic drop in daily reports of spamvertising and phishing cases using ‘.hk’ domains was recorded in May 2008, according to the “‘.hk’ Domain Name Spamvertising & Phishing Report” compiled by Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company Limited (HKDNR). A daily average of 38 such cases was recorded throughout 2007, while the number dropped to 3 from January to May 2008.

This encouraging result reflects the effectiveness of the forceful measures taken by HKDNR, as well as the close cooperation with other monitoring authorities throughout 2007 and this year.

“HKDNR is committed to providing a safe Internet environment for the community and has put in place various measures against suspicious websites. We have been working closely with the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA), Hong Kong Police and Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre (HKCERT) to monitor and control the situation,” said Mr. Jonathan Shea, Chief Executive Officer of HKDNR.

“We actively review our systems and domain name registration procedures and policies. In particular, we have implemented more stringent documentary requirements to combat suspicious applications in order to keep pace with the fast-changing Internet world. We also engage frequently in international and regional conferences to share best practices and learn from others, in order to execute policies effectively.”

Close cooperation since last year with relevant authorities and agencies proved beneficial in the battle against ‘.hk’ spamvertising and phishing websites. Additional verification measures have been adopted by HKDNR for online payment of domain registration. The Hong Kong Police informed HKDNR of criminal cases involving ‘.hk’ domains in a timely manner and the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre (HKCERT) helped HKDNR develop guidelines for verification of phishing domains and provided valuable input on industry trends and news. OFTA provided an updated list of spamvertising ‘.hk’ domains to HKDNR daily and advised on spamvertising verification criteria.

As a result of these initiatives, more than 14,000 ‘.hk’ domain names were suspended by HKDNR this year by the end of May. Around 85% of these were related to spamvertising activities and about 15% were related to phishing websites.

The efficiency of suspending spamvertising or phishing ‘.hk’ domains has been improved by approximately 92% as a daily average, helping to make Hong Kong a safer digital city.

“The fight against phishing and spamvertising websites is a continuous battle and we will further strengthen our efforts,” said Mr. Shea. “This means actively reviewing our system capabilities and registration policy, including the possibility of deploying procedural enhancements. Early this year, we have also started document verification for suspicious applications of second-level ‘.hk’ domain names to combat cyber criminals.

“We also want to ask the community to be more aware of these issues and report any concerns to relevant authorities if they have queries when accessing websites. With support from the public, we are confident that Hong Kong will have a safe and secure Internet community.”

“The number of malicious websites in the world has been increasing. However, HKDNR has done such a good job since last year that the number of ‘.hk’-related incidents has actually dropped drastically in recent months. They have put in place effective measures such as proactively monitoring ‘.hk’ applications as well as requirements for documentation proof for suspicious applications,” said Mr. Roy Ko, Centre Manager, Coordination Centre, Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team.

“The Hong Kong Police force has been co-operating closely with international law enforcement authorities around the world, as well as with HKDNR to combat the issue of malicious websites. We have dealt quickly with suspicious websites once they are found, to ensure the safety of the use of Internet in Hong Kong,” said Mr. Wong Tak Cheung, Chief Inspector (Operation) Technology Crime Division, Hong Kong Police.

Members of the public are welcome to report any ‘.hk’ spamvertising and phishing websites to HKDNR via email abuse@hkdnr.hk or hotline 2319 1313.

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Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC) is a non-profit-making organization endorsed by the Government of the HKSAR to oversee the administration and assignment of the Internet domain names ending with '.hk'. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company Limited (HKDNR), HKIRC provides registration services for the English domain names ending with '.com.hk', 'org.hk', 'net.hk', 'edu.hk', 'gov.hk', 'idv.hk', '.hk' and Chinese domain names ending with '.公司.hk', '.組織.hk', '.網絡.hk', '教育.hk', '政府.hk', '個人.hk', '.hk'; and other domains to be introduced from time to time in Hong Kong.

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