Lieberman Web Site Faces Election Day Test

As U.S. voters go to the polls for a mid-term election likely to decide control of both houses of Congress, analysts say voter turnout will be a critical factor. Political web sites are key tools in this effort - provided they can stay online.

Hosting uptime became a contentious issue in Connecticut's primary election in August, as the campaign web site for veteran Sen. Joseph Lieberman was completely unavailable on election day. Lieberman, the Democrats' 2000 vice presidential candidate, was defeated by challenger Ned Lamont. Afterward, Lieberman's campaign manager blamed the Lamont camp for the outage, alleging "coordinated efforts to disable our Web site." Other analysts said the Lieberman campaign had likely exceeded the bandwidth allotment on its shared hosting account at MyHostCamp.com.

Lieberman is back, running as an independent, and has a new web host as well. The Joe2006.com site is now hosted by Web.com, and is performing well through midday:

Joe2006.com web site performance

A dynamically updating chart of the performance of Joe2006.com is available. Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides detailed uptime charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.

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Microsoft Approved as ICANN Registrar

Microsoft has become an ICANN-accredited domain registrar, giving it the ability to sell domains directly to its customers. Microsoft has been reselling domain names from Melbourne IT, a registrar based in Australia that also provides wholesale domains to Yahoo and other hosting providers.

Microsoft's could use its new status to sell domain names for its Office Live small business hosting service, which is scheduled to come out of beta on Nov. 15 and provides a free domain name with each account. This would probably save Microsoft money on each domain sold, as wholesalers like Melbourne IT typically charge a small mark-up over the base fees from the central registry.

But not all companies that gain ICANN accreditation use it to sell their own domains. Google became a registrar last year but has yet to sell domain names to the public, preferring to use its status to focus on reducing spammy domains from its search results. Amazon.com also has ICANN accreditation, but has not pursued retail domain sales.

Rackspace and Tiscali Most Reliable Hosters in October

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
October 1st - 31st 2006

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Rackspace and Tiscali are the most reliable hosting companies for October 2006, followed closely by Jumpline, WestHost, the UK's Demon Internet and Germany's Deutsche Telekom. Jumpline is based in Columbus, Ohio and focuses on the virtual dedicated server market, while WestHost is a Utah provider offering shared hosting.

Industry-leading reliability has become business as usual for Rackspace, a managed hosting specialist based in San Antonio, Texas, which finishes atop our monthly survey for the sixth time in 2006. Tiscali, an Italian company providing a broad range of hosting and domain services, was previously the most reliable host in May of this year and August 2005.

Five of the 10 most reliable hosters run their sites on Linux, while three use Solaris, two run on FreeBSD, and Windows hosts are shut out of the top 10 this month. The strong showing for Solaris includes two hosts (Demon, Deutsche Telekom) running Solaris 9/10 and one (Verio) on Solaris 8.

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November 2006 Web Server Survey

There are now more than 100 million web sites on the Internet, which gained 3.5 million sites last month to continue the dynamic growth seen throughout 2006. In the November 2006 survey we received responses from 101,435,253 sites, up from 97.9 million sites last month.

The 100 million site milestone caps an extraordinary year in which the Internet has already added 27.4 million sites, easily topping the previous full-year growth record of 17 million from 2005. The Internet has doubled in size since May 2004, when the survey hit 50 million.

Blogs and small business web sites have driven the explosive growth this year, with huge increases at free blogging services at Google and Microsoft. Domain industry juggernauts Go Daddy (U.S.) and 1&1 Internet (Germany) have also seen strong demand for low-priced domain names and shared hosting accounts.

The first Netcraft survey in August 1995 found 18,957 hosts, with the NCSA web server dominating with 57 percent market share, leading CERN (19%) and a newcomer named Apache (3.5%). Microsoft's Internet Information Server launched in February 1996, and by the survey's fifth birthday the server market was largely divided up between Apache and IIS. This month Apache leads with 60.3% market share, with Microsoft at 31.0% and Sun at 1.7%.

Previous milestones in the survey were reached in April 1997 (1 million sites), February 2000 (10 million), September 2000 (20 million), July 2001 (30 million), April 2003 (40 million), May 2004 (50 million), March 2005 (60 million), August 2005 (70 million). April 2006 (80 million ) and August 2006 (90 million).

Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - November 2006

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - November 2006

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - November 2006

Top Developers
DeveloperOctober 2006PercentNovember 2006PercentChange
Apache6016664261.446118377660.32-1.12
Microsoft3070402131.353148700531.04-0.31
Sun3321130.3417037671.681.34
Zeus5223110.535202280.51-0.02

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Paypal Remains Online Despite Explosion

An explosion at online payment processor Paypal caused property damage, but resulted in no injuries. The company's web site, one of the Internet's busiest e-commerce sites, remained online throughout the incident.

The explosion Tuesday night at Paypal's network operations center in San Jose shattered a window and forced the evacuation of 26 employees, according to local media reports. Law enforcement officials said they "have suspicions" about what may have caused the blast, but did not detail them. The investigation team included members of the local police bomb squad.

paypal.com site performance

A dynamically updating chart of the performance of Paypal.com is available here. Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides detailed uptime charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.

MySpace Accounts Compromised by Phishers

Netcraft has discovered that the social networking site, MySpace, appears to have been compromised by phishers who have presented a spoof login form on the main site. This modified login form is designed to submit the victim's username and password to a remote server hosted in France.

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The hackers have engineered a fake login form on MySpace's own web site.

Netcraft has notified MySpace of the issue, although it currently remains live. Because the fraudulent login page is hosted on MySpace's own servers and does not exhibit any signs of external content, such as cross-site scripting (XSS) or open redirects, it is convincing and even security-conscious users are at risk of becoming victims. The attack is launched from a profile page, where the username is login_home_index_html, and uses specially-crafted HTML in order to hide the genuine MySpace content from the page and instead display its own login form.

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The modifed login form, hosted on myspace.com.
Login details are harvested by a remote server, hosted in France.

Once a user account has been compromised, personal data can be harvested. The Washington Post recently published an article outlining why it can be useful for fraudsters to obtain accounts on MySpace, and other social networking sites.

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Users of the Netcraft Toolbar are protected against the attack.

The attack was reported by a member of the Netcraft Toolbar community and blocked after investigation by Netcraft. Users of the Netcraft Toolbar are therefore protected against this phishing attack, as they will be warned when visiting the fake login form or when accessing the data-harvesting server in France.