Monday ICM Registry, the company behind the upcoming .XXX domain for porn sites, announced an $8 million deal with McAfee to keep all registered websites clean of virtual diseases.
According to the deal, the registry will integrate McAfee's technology into the domain service and provide free daily malware scanning with the purchase of every domain. XXX websites will thus be scanned for vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, browser exploits and phishing sites, reputational analysis and malware.
“Malware is a growing issue on the internet, with the number of websites hosting malware increasing dramatically year-on-year," said ICM Registry CEO Stuart Lawley. "This partnership is a milestone for .XXX and will help create a safer internet for everyone to enjoy. For the first time we are offering an automatic malware scanning service with every .XXX domain name registration. This has never been done before and further supports our aim to create a clearly defined web address for adult entertainment, as free as possible from fraud or malicious computer viruses."
Although the announcement didn't specifically name McAfee as the security solution provider, a second statement on the ICM Registry website clears the air. "McAfee is providing .XXX website operators via an agreement funded by ICM Registry with integrated complementary security technologies into a single service that helps protect registered websites and their customers from hackers, exploits, and malware," ICM states. "This service represents a value of over $200 per domain and is provided free of charge to .XXX registrants."
So how will frisky consumers looking for a virtual good time know that their hardware will be kept safe? ICM says that .XXX websites that pass the testing regimen can display the familiar date-stamped "Trustmark" logo. But the company didn't say what would happen if an .XXX failed testing – does it get taken offline and scrubbed down until it's safe for viewing again?
ICM said that the cost of using McAfee's technology will be underwritten by the domain name registry. Those who visit an .XXX website and has McAfee's free SiteAdviser plug-in will also be able to verify the security of the site. Additionally, webmasters will have access to code for virtual shopping carts that also feature McAfee's Trustmark stamp.
Domain registrars are slated to sell .XXX addresses somewhere around $75 and $130 per year, $60 of which will go straight to ICM Registry. Trademark owners like Disney will will be required pay up to $300 per trademark term they wish to block from the adult-only space (as in re-direct disney.xxx to a legitimate Disney website) – some may be forced to shell out over $100,000 to keep their brands off the adult network. Starting September, trademark owners will get a 30-day window to retrieve trademarks before cybersquatters seize their brands and hold them for a high-priced ransom.