March 2004 Web Server Survey

In the March 2004 survey we received responses from 48,038,131 sites.

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - March 2004

Top Developers
Developer February 2004Percent March 2004Percent Change

For the third month in a row, despite significant growth in absolute terms, the percentage market share of Apache and Microsoft have change by less than the 0.3% resolution of the graph, so the graphs are flat.

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Outages for RIAA, SCO Sites

The main Recording Industry Association of America web site has experienced intermittent outages since the spread of the MyDoom.F virus, which programs computers to launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the site.

RIAA web site availability

The RIAA site has a history of outages related to DDoS attacks (including extended downtime inJuly 2002 and January 2003) and has frequently been defaced.

Antivirus vendor Trend Micro says it has detected more than 23,000 machines infected with MyDoom.F, a sizeable number but far less than its predecessor, MyDoom.A, which launched a DDoS that kept site offline for the first half of February.

Speaking of which, SCO's new url, was offline for several hours last night after several weeks of uneventful uptime. A dynamically updating chart of can be found here.

Phishing Attacks Rise by 50% month on month

There were 176 unique phishing attacks in January, a 52 percent increase from December, according to data from the Anti Phishing Working Group, an industry association tracking phishing and e-mail spoofing. The number of scams continued to increase throughout the month, averaging more than seven separate scams per day by the third week in January.

Nearly a third of the attacks in January used the "@" user authentication syntax to construct disguised URLs in links. A Microsoft security patch released Feb. 2 disabled that capability in the Internet Explorer browser. A smaller number - seven percent of January attacks - exploited an IE flaw that causes the browser to display an incorrect URL in its address and status bars. Continue reading

Interview: Affinity Internet CEO Peter Chambers

Affinity Internet is the world's 10th-largest host, based on its 216K active sites. Based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Affinity is best recognized for ValueWeb, the largest of its six hosting brands. Affinity CEO Peter Chambers guides the company's strategic direction and day-to-day operations. In our interview, Chambers discussed Affinity's approach to customizing its brands to target segments of the hosting market.

Q. You've structured your offerings as multiple hosting brands, with separate identities for ValueWeb, SkyNetWeb, Bigstep, HostSave and WinSave. What have been the benefits and challenges of this approach, as opposed to a unified brand?

A. Quite simply, we have different brands because they target different audiences. Offering multiple brands enables us to speak directly to that audience. What a tech-savvy customer needs from a hosting company is different from what a small business owner with zero technology background may need. Multiple brands allow us to communicate to that audience in a vernacular they understand. Providing the six elements of our value proposition means different things to different kinds of customers - having multiple brands helps us achieve this.

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MyDoom.F Deletes Files, Adds RIAA to DDoS Targets

The newest version of MyDoom deletes Microsoft Word and Excel documents from a victim's hard drive, along with images and videos. MyDoom.F was discovered Feb. 20 and spread slowly at first, but is prompting increased warnings from security vendors as it begins to spread more widely.

Like its predecessors, MyDoom.F has its own SMTP engine and spreads through e-mail attachments, and is programmed to launch denial of service attacks on web sites. The DDoS component of MyDoom.F targets and (the Recording Industry Association of America)

MyDoom.F also opens a backdoor on the victim's computer, using port 1080. Some analyses suggest that it also opens a backdoor on multiple ports between 3000 and 5000 and disables antivirus software.

Widespread awareness of MyDoom-related threats has focused fresh attention on the basics of e-mail security, particularly regarding the opening of attachments. That should work to check the spread of MyDoom.F, as will its more destructive payload, which makes it harder for the malware's activity to go unnoticed for very long on compromised machines.

February Domain Pricing changes

Changes in domain pricing amongst the largest providers over the past month have been fairly minor. 1&1 Internet now charges $5.88 a year for a .com domain, down from $5.99 as it adjusted to fit its "49 cents a month" web site marketing. Go Daddy returned to $7.95 annually for .com names after a brief hike to $8.95 last month. Go Daddy's most aggressive discounting is for .us and .biz domains, which are currently priced at $4.95 a year.

Retail Domain Name Prices, Jan. 2004
Company One-year
.com price
&nbspPrimary Business&nbsp Primary Region
1&1 Internet AG $5.88 Mixed Hosting Europe
EV1Servers $6.49 Dedicated Hosting America
Hostway $6.95 Shared Hosting America $6.95 Mixed Hosting America
GoDaddy Inc $7.95 Domain Registrar America
RegisterFly $9.99 Domain Registrar America
Host Europe $13.29 Mixed Hosting Europe
Dotster $14.95 Domain Registrar America
FastHosts $17.12 Mixed Hosting Europe
Verio $19.00 Mixed Hosting America
eNom $29.95 Domain Registrar America
The Planet $30.00 Mixed Hosting America
Network Solutions $34.99 Domain Registrar America $35.00 Domain Registrar America
Melbourne IT $35.00 Domain Registrar America

Hostway has acquired RegistryPro from, and will be the registrar of .pro domain names when they launch in the second quarter. The deal is subject to approval by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The financial terms of the acquisition were undisclosed. "We believe lawyers, accountants, doctors and service professionals will be eager to use the .pro domain as a way of identifying and differentiating their professional status," said Lucas Roh, President and CEO of Hostway, which will honor all existing .pro sunrise registrations. The .pro extension is available exclusively for lawyers, accountants and doctors, and bundles a domain name and digital certificate.