1. Citrix NetScaler Serves More Than Ten Million Sites

    Netcraft has been tracking Citrix NetScaler in the Web Server Survey for more than a year. In the latest survey, more than ten million sites were found using Citrix NetScaler.

    Citrix bought NetScaler Inc. in 2005 for approximately $300M in cash and stock, acquiring an already maturing network appliance platform. NetScaler provides load balancing, an application firewall, and application acceleration to improve the performance and security of large web applications. NetScaler can run on a variety of dedicated hardware platforms, or it can be run as a server-based virtual appliance. BIG-IP is a competing product from F5 with similar features which reached 10 million sites back in May 2009.

    1.71% of all websites found this month were served using the Citrix NetScaler platform; but within the top 100k busiest websites NetScaler's share is much higher at 9.24%. The country distribution of the installed base has a few peculiarities: almost 30% of the websites hosted in Turkey and 20% of the websites hosted in Korea are using NetScaler. In Turkey, the blogcu.com network is using Citrix NetScaler and in Korea more than 50% of the co.cc subdomains were found to be using the platform. Worldwide, Microsoft, eBay, Weather.com, CNET, and MasterCard are among the busiest sites using Citrix NetScaler.

    Posted by Robert Duncan on 3rd February, 2012 in Hosting

  2. Bebo outage causes shutdown rumours

    Social network Bebo is still inaccessible after an apparent technical error took the site offline yesterday.

    Bebo was previously hosted on the Akamai content delivery network, which generally increases a site's resilience to network outages and traffic spikes, but DNS lookups for the www.bebo.com website are currently not resolving:

    $ ping www.bebo.com
    ping: cannot resolve www.bebo.com: Host name lookup failure
    
    $ dig www.bebo.com
    ; <<>> DiG 9.5.1-P3 <<>> www.bebo.com
    ;; global options:  printcmd
    ;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached

    Twitter is currently awash with self-propagating rumours that Bebo has been shut down for good; however, this has been debunked by TechCrunch, which reports a Bebo spokesperson as saying the site went down due to "a technical clusterf**k". Michael Birch, who originally founded Bebo with his wife Xochi, also tweeted that the site should be coming back in a matter of hours.

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 31st January, 2012 in Performance, Security

  3. Attacks resume against US Department of Justice

    The United States Department of Justice appears to be under attack for the second time since the popular Megaupload file sharing site was taken down. The group Anonymous appears to be carrying out this latest attack in protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

    In its Mega Song music video, which was released last month, Megaupload claimed the site had 1 billion users and accounted for 4% of all traffic on the internet. www.megaupload.com was the 77th busiest site according to the Netcraft Toolbar. The company's main website was hosted by Carpathia Hosting, but now displays an FBI anti-piracy warning hosted by Amazon. The warning explains, "This domain name associated with the website Megaupload.com has been seized pursuant to an order issued by a U.S. District Court." Despite the static nature of the warning page, it appears to have struggled with the amount of traffic it was receiving over the weekend:

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 25th January, 2012 in Performance, Security

  4. “Operation Italy” takes down government website

    Plans by Anonymous to launch a distributed denial of service attack against www.governo.it were changed half an hour before the attack was scheduled to commence. The group used IRC, Twitter, Pastebin and image sharing sites to advertise the attack a day before it was due to start, but the surprise change meant that www.italia.gov.it unexpectedly ended up bearing the brunt of the attack.

    The DDoS attack against www.italia.gov.it was immediately successful, with the site becoming inaccessible from 14:00 UTC on Thursday. The attack appeared to subside a few hours later and the site is now functioning normally with no apparent changes to its infrastructure.

    After seeing how easily its "lulzcannon" were able to take down www.italia.gov.it, some members of Anonymous called for the original target, www.governo.it, to be attacked as well. It was not apparent how many people took part in this secondary attack, but it appeared to have a minimal impact on the site's availability:

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 13th January, 2012 in Performance, Security

  5. Attacks continue against Finnish anti-piracy website

    Finnish anti-piracy organisation TTVK is still under attack after it successfully applied for one of the country's largest ISPs to block access to the popular bittorrent tracker, The Pirate Bay. The Helsinki District Court ordered Elisa Oyj to implement the block, and Elisa responded by appealing the decision to the Helsinki Court of Appeal.

    In protest against the block, AnonFinland called for its supporters to "fire their cannons" at the TTVK's antipiracy.fi website, which quickly succumbed to the attack. Anonymous has issued similar calls to arms in the past – most notably towards the end of 2010, when WikiLeaks supporters successfully used the LOIC tool (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) to attack the websites of Visa, MasterCard and PayPal.

    Shortly after calling for the site to be attacked, AnonFinland tweeted a now-customary "tango down" message, signifying that the attack had succeeded. With a Netcraft site rank of only 435586, it is likely that antipiracy.fi was typically not accustomed to large volumes of traffic. This, coupled with the fact that the site does not make use of a CDN to increase redundancy or reduce network latency, may have made the organisation an easy target.

    antipiracy.fi – which is coincidentally hosted by Elisa Oyj – was still down at the time of publication.

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 13th January, 2012 in Performance, Security

  6. Nigerian government hosts Halifax phishing site

    The Nigerian government's National Information Technology Development Agency is currently hosting a phishing attack against Halifax on its own website at www.nitda.gov.ng. NITDA has been notified, and the Netcraft Toolbar community (which discovered the fraudulent content) is already protected from this attack.

    Ironically, NITDA is the clearing house for IT projects in Nigeria, and establishes a set of security guidelines for the Federal Government of Nigeria in its Computer Network Architecture Standards (COMNAS) Framework. This document covers the national policy on network security and describes vulnerability scanning and penetration testing procedures which may have prevented the fraudulent content from appearing on its own website.

    Phishing sites are quite commonly hosted on government infrastructure: In July, Netcraft blocked 146 new phishing sites hosted in government domains around the world.

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 4th January, 2012 in Security

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