INetU, Secure Dog most reliable hosting company sites during January

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
January 1st - 31st 2004

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During January both the INetU and Secure Dog sites were faultless with no failed requests at all from any of our five measurement points.

This is the second month running that INetU's site has had no failed requests at all, and it has now been in the top three for the last four months. As neither INetU or Secure Dog had any failed requests, INetU is ranked above Secure Dog because the average connection time from our performance measurment points to the INetU site was faster.

Third was www.pair.com, a consistently reliable site which was placed fourth for H2 2003. All of the top three sites run on BSD operating systems.

Two European hosting company sites made it in to the top 10. Cable & Wireless and Energis, respectively the second and third largest telcos' in the UK were fifth and tenth. Energis is Netcraft's own connectivity provider, but has no special advantage as none of the measurement points are on the Energis network.

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1&1 Internet and Go Daddy Continue to Top Growth Charts

Strong growth was seen at many of the top hosters this month. Leading the pack was 1&1 Internet, which gained 173K hostnames, with particularly strong growth in Europe.

1&1's new American unit added a further 19K hostnames in the run-up to the company's Jan. 22 launch of paid services in the U.S. 1&1 says it signed up more than 200K of the free "test drive" accounts, with about 24K active sites visible thus far.

Go Daddy also had strong growth as its shared hosting business gained traction, while EV1Servers returned to form after two consecutive flat months.

Top Hosting Providers By Growth, Dec 03 to Jan 04
Hosting Company Dec 03 Jan 04 Growth %
Growth
Primary
Region
1&1 Internet AG 3,505,881 3,679,246 173,365 4.9% Europe
GoDaddy Inc 1,635,680 1,801,177 165,497 10.1% America
EV1Servers 597,630 682,197 84,567 14.2% America
Global Media 85,719 146,791 61,072 71.2% Asia
Strato AG 1,918,889 1,974,102 55,213 2.9% Europe
FASTNET Corp. 20,442 69,560 49,118 240.3% America
eNom 565,083 594,290 29,207 5.2% America
The Planet 124,493 152,369 27,876 22.4% America
Host Europe 547,618 571,607 23,989 4.4% Europe
Aruba 170,088 190,859 20,771 12.2% Europe

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Interview: EV1Servers CEO Robert Marsh

As the CEO and "HeadSurfer" of EV1Servers, Robert Marsh has directed the Houston-based dedicated server company through spectacular growth. In our interview, Marsh shares his thoughts on EV1's success, the high cost of domains and SSL certificates, and the difference between "affordable" and "bargain basement."

Q. Last year was a huge one for EV1Servers, as your company had a big influx of new customers, rebranded itself, and wrestled with growing pains that tested your infrastructure. What was 2003 like for you?

A. 2003 was the best - and at the same time most difficult - year of my life. Our team made a long list of accomplishments: we began offering first cPanel, then Windows hosting, then domain registration and SSL certificates. We also overcame a lot of challenges. I'm particularly proud that not one customer suffered a single second of outage when a transformer explosion in June cut off our utility power for six days. Most importantly, 2003 made us a better company. We ended the year with a more secure network, a stronger and more experienced team, and a new data center whose first phase will see us through our next 12,000 servers. I think this puts us in a great position to make even more progress in 2004.

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Microsoft has alternative site available, just in case

Microsoft has made an alternative web site available at https://information.microsoft.com. in case people experience difficulty accessing www.microsoft.com.

Although our measurement points have seen some requests to www.microsoft.com fail today - to put this in context, www.inetu.net, the top ranked hosting company site hasn't had a request fail in over two months - it's been pretty much business as usual for the web site to date, with most response times little different from any other day.

Windows computers infected with MyDoom.B are programmed to begin attacking www.microsoft.com today at 13:09:18 (UTC) and continue through March 1st.

Performance data for the sites involved in the MyDoom DDoS is available here.

New SCO site experiences outages and slow response times

Overnight, response times on www.thescogroup.com have become erratic, and the site has suffered over an hour of outages. Performance data for the sites involved in the MyDoom DDos is available here.

Additionally, www2.sco.com has been taken out of the DNS.

% host www2.sco.com
Host www2.sco.com not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)

Microsoft Issues Critical Update On URL Spoofing

Microsoft has issued a promised patch for Internet Explorer that addresses a URL spoofing flaw, as well as a critical security hole that could allow crackers to gain control of Internet-connected computers through Javascript links in web pages.

The latest IE update disallows the use of the "@" character in URLs, addressing a snafu which has helped phishing scammers to disguise the Internet address of a fake Web site. Once the update is installed, including the @ symbol in urls will return an "invalid syntax error" message. Internet scammers have been using @ signs in urls to trick bank customers into revealing their account details.

The latest patch also fixes a cross-domain scripting vulnerability in Internet Explorer, through which a remote attacker could bypass security measures that limit the commands that Web-based code can execute on a user machine. The flaw enables a link containing Javascript code to run commands in the Local Machine Zone with user privileges.

Netcraft has developed a service to help banks and other financial organizations identify sites which may be trying to construct frauds, identity theft and phishing attacks by pretending to be the bank, or are implying that the site has a relationship with the bank when in fact there is none.