Netcraft has observed a surge in popularity of the Lynx browser, particularly since the recent Pwn2Own competition, which was held at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver last month. During the course of the competition, security researchers once again exposed fresh vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.
User Agent share at FNB Oki Koki
April Erste, Public Relations Manager at the First National Bank of Oki Koki, told Netcraft that users are migrating to Lynx because of its speed and advanced security features. She added: "Lynx has not once suffered a buffer overflow in its image processing, and indeed has suffered no security vulnerabilities at all in the last 2 years." By comparison, the most recent Firefox security update was only 4 days ago.
The bank also notes that Telnet remains popular with a small group of its customers. Although it lacks the sophisticated user interface of Lynx, many security experts argue that Telnet is significantly more secure and has the largest installed base of any browser.
Erste said that while the bank is dedicated to providing an accessible online banking experience, some customers still report difficulties when trying to make HTTPS requests through Telnet without the aid of an extended keyboard layout.
A customer navigates the bank's online portal using Telnet
One factor that has held back wider adoption of Lynx is its lack of protection against phishing. As with other web browsers, it can be difficult to tell a genuine bank website from a well-constructed lookalike. To bolster Lynx's growing footprint in the browser market, Netcraft has released the Netcraft Toolbar for Lynx. This free add-on blends in at the top of every web page, and not only protects Lynx users against phishing attacks, but the beautiful text-based rendition of the Netcraft logo is sure to brighten anyone's day.
The changeover appears to have started around the 8th January, when www.microsoft.com began responding sometimes with
Microsoft-IIS/7.5, but with many requests still being served by 7.0. Now the transition appears to be complete, with all requests now being handled by version 7.5.
Microsoft has consistently upgraded www.microsoft.com to new versions of its web server platform ahead of their actual release, as a demonstration of confidence in new versions. It upgraded to the original Windows Server 2008 in June 2007, 8 months before that operating system's finished release in February 2008. www.microsoft.com is one of the very first sites to use Microsoft-IIS/7.5; Netcraft sees only 28 websites running Microsoft-IIS/7.5 in the February web server survey, of which the only significant sites were at Microsoft.(more...)
A vulnerability in the TRUSTe seal verification service was demonstrated last week, showing how the service could have been exploited to make it look as though an unauthorised site had a valid TRUSTe seal.
A security researcher using the pseudonym "Antani Tapioco" discovered the problem, which stemmed from insufficient input validation on the TRUSTe seal validation page. Netcraft has reported the problem to TRUSTe and it has since been fixed.
The explosion of spam blogs on Google's Blogspot hosting service is drawing a chorus of condemnation from prominent bloggers, and has led at least one blog search service to stop indexing posts on Blogspot. The growth of spam blogs has accelerated in recent months, fueled by automated tools that can create blogs on Blogspot and some similar services and populate them with keyword-optimized posts and Google AdSense advertisements.
About 39,000 fake blogs have been created on the web in the past two weeks, according to an analysis by Technorati, or about 4.6 percent of the 805,000 new weblogs created in that period. FightSplog, which has been monitoring new blogs at Blogspot, recently documented 2,763 porn splogs created by a single "splogger." Blogspot-based spam blogs recently began featuring names of prominent bloggers in posts, boosting the splogs' visibility in searches at web-based RSS aggregators like Feedster, PubSub and Bloglines.
The move prompted IceRocket to stop indexing new posts from Blogspot.com, according to a blunt post from Mark Cuban, a major investor in IceRocket. Cuban says Blogspot indexing will resume once filters are adjusted, but warned Google to fix the problem or face a permanent ban. Bloggers are also focusing their fire on Google, which has stepped up its splog-squashing efforts in recent weeks but still can't keep pace with the automated instasplogs. "If your motto truly is to do no evil, then you need to start putting some resources behind an effort to curb this train wreck," LockerGnome's Chris Pirillo advised Google.(more...)
www.georgewbush.com switches to self-hosted FreeBSD server, www.sun.com upgrades to Solaris 9, not 10After www.georgewbush.com stepped away from the Akamai content management service on Nov 24, the site enjoyed a short-lived stay on a Windows 2000 server running Microsoft-IIS/5.0, hosted by the Republican National Committee. By Nov 30, the site had been moved to a FreeBSD server running Apache at BUSHCHENEY2004-65-172-163-128-255.
While response times have been improved since moving to FreeBSD, www.georgewbush.com is simply redirecting visitors to the Republican National Committee web site at www.gop.com; however, making an HTTP 1.0 request to www.georgewbush.com causes it to serve the "Test Page for Apache Installation" instead of instructing the browser to redirect to www.gop.com.
www.georgewbush.com continues to block access based on geographical location. A dynamically updating chart of site performance for www.georgewbush.com is available here
Another notable change was observed on Sun Microsystems’ web site at www.sun.com, which was upgraded from Solaris 8 to Solaris 9 on Nov 30. Sun's tardy approach to running the latest version of Solaris on www.sun.com - Solaris 10 was recently released - is in sharp contrast to Microsoft, who ran www.microsoft.com on Windows 2003 for months ahead of its launch.
The LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco is the center of the Linux universe this week, celebrating the best Linux apps and advancing the cause of Linux in business. If you can't be at the Moscone Center, you can read the latest conference news at the LinuxWorld Expo web site, which naturally is powered by ... Windows Server 2003. (more...)