Investigate malicious web addresses flagged by report

The Trend Micro cyber-security report which pointed out that Singapore is a hotbed of hosting malicious URLs came as a worrisome surprise.
The Trend Micro cyber-security report which pointed out that Singapore is a hotbed of hosting malicious URLs came as a worrisome surprise.PHOTO: REUTERS

A uniform resource locator (URL) is a website address for hosting websites and Web resources.

It can be registered as www.straitstimes.com - a generic top-level domain (TLD) name - or as www.sphsubscription.com.sg - as a country-code TLD name for Singapore.

Approval of URLs with generic TLD names is by United States-based non-profit organisation Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann).

But the registration and housing of URLs can be carried out at ICANN-approved registrars and hosting companies.

Approval of URLs with country-code TLD name is by the specific country's government body.

In Singapore's case, it is the Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC), which is a fully owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Media Development Authority.

There are currently 18 SGNIC-approved registrars.

As of last month, there are about 180,000 ".sg" based URLs approved and, perhaps, hosted in Singapore.

The Trend Micro cyber-security report which pointed out that Singapore is a hotbed of hosting malicious URLs came as a worrisome surprise (S'pore a hot spot for business e-mail scams and malicious Web addresses: Trend Micro, March 12).

I downloaded Trend Micro's reports to try and understand how their research defined "hosting" and "malicious URLs", but was unable to find an answer.

All of this raises questions that I hope either Trend Micro or SGNIC will be able to answer.

Which level of domain names does the Trend Micro report point to? Is it generic or country-code TLD?

And if the malicious Web addresses are hosted in Singapore, can the authorities trace which registrars or Singapore-based hosting companies the URLs are sitting on?

Tan Kar Quan