'.hk' Domain Name Spamvertising & Phishing Cases Drop As Stringent Measures Take Effect

Fostering Internet Security to Make Hong Kong a Safe Digital City

Hong Kong, January 31, 2008 – An 86% drop in daily reports of spamvertising and phishing cases using ‘.hk’ domains was recorded in 2007, according to the “‘.hk’ Domain Name Spamvertising & Phishing Report 2007” compiled by Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company Limited (HKDNR). A daily average of 59 such cases was recorded from January to July 2007, while the number dropped drastically to 8 from August to December 2007.

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.

“With the expansion of the online community and the rapid rate of technological change, registration of ‘.hk’ domain names grew by more than 25% from 2006 to 2007,” said Mr. Jonathan Shea, Chief Executive Officer of HKDNR.

“HKDNR has stepped up its technical and procedural verifications against local and international phishers and spamvertisers to help foster a safe environment for Internet users. We also work proactively with the local authorities to closely monitor the situation and deal effectively with this issue, as well as keeping in close contact with international agencies for regular sharing of best practices and case updates.”

Effective efforts include additional measures to detect suspicious applications for ‘.hk’ domain names and the adoption of the “Verified by Visa” system which accepts only secure-code-ready credit cards for online payment of domain registration.

Close cooperation last year with relevant authorities and agencies proved beneficial in the battle against ‘.hk’ spamvertising and phishing websites. The Hong Kong Police informed HKDNR of verified phishing ‘.hk’ domains in a timely manner and the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre (HKCERT) developed guidelines for verification of phishing domains and provided 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 10,000 ‘.hk’ domain names were suspended by HKDNR in 2007. Around 88% of these were related to spamvertising activities and about 12% were related to phishing websites.

The efficiency of suspending spamvertising or phishing ‘.hk’ domains has been improved by approximately 50%, 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 such as document verification for registration of second level ‘.hk’ domain names.”

“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.”

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.

Mr. Christopher To, Chairman (middle), Mr. Joseph Leung, Director (right) and Mr. Jonathan Shea, Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company Limited (HKDNR) today announced the "'.hk' Domain Name Spamvertising & Phishing Report 2007."


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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