ICM Registry, the company that will begin selling .xxx domains later this year, has signed an agreement with McAfee to scan all websites in the controversial domain space for malware and vulnerabilities on a daily basis.The Register reports that the deal is valued at around $8 million, but that isn't much to pay for a feature that might further increase the number of registrations. It's estimated that ICM is standing to earn over $200 million a year from domain sales as it is.
For its money the registry will get McAfee's SECURE service for the entire domain space. The service normally costs $360 a year per four IPs and includes daily security scans and a trust mark that sites can display on their shopping carts.
Adult websites have long been touted by antivirus companies as a security risk and presented as a regular source of malware infections. By offering this service, ICM probably hopes that webmasters will adopt the new TLD in order to escape the stigma.
But the registry is also facing problems. During the ten-year struggle to get the gTLD approved, numerous adult industry players expressed their disapproval of the domain extension.
For one, it will force them to buy .xxx versions of their current domain names in order to avoid abuse. Then, there are many who claim that an increased adoption of this TLD will allow network administrators to more easily block websites in bulk.
Nevertheless, if this deal pays off for ICM and brings value to its business, there is a good chance that other registries will sign up for similar services. Starting with 2013, companies will be able to operate dot-anything registries, which means an explosion of new TLDs.
Already established registries, especially those running country-code TLDs might also opt for this kind of services in order to decrease the level of abuse in their domain name spaces.