Most Reliable Hosting Providers during November

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
November 1st - 30th 2004

Hoster Performance November 04

During November all of the sites monitored experienced some failed requests, with New York Internet the most reliable site during the period, followed by Pair Networks.

Half of the top ten sites were running BSD based operating systems, with four running Linux, and hosting.com nee Express Technologies running Windows.

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Lycos Screensaver Site Changed, Now Says “Stay Tuned”

Lycos Europe appears to have at least temporarily taken down its MakeLoveNotSpam site, which has been distributing a screensaver that directs distributed attacks against web sites used by spammers. The site now displays a graphic and the words "STAY TUNED." References to the site have also been removed from the Lycos Europe home page, where it was prominently featured yesterday.

The site has shifted IP addresses from 83.241.136.230 to 213.115.182.123, which are both housed at the web servers of Starring, a Swedish advertising agency which is apparently working with Lycos Europe on the site.

newlove.jpg
Click for larger image.

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Lycos Screensaver Site Blocked by Internet Backbones

Some major internet backbones are preventing access to the new Lycos "anti-spam" screensaver web site at www.MakeLoveNotSpam.com. This controversial site provides Internet users with the ability to participate in distributed attacks against web sites used by spammers, leaving the spammers with slow connections and high bandwidth costs.

Many users have reported problems accessing the web site since it was announced a few days ago. At first, these difficulties were thought to be as a result of the web site's success or revenge attacks by spammers. It now appears that some major Internet backbones are denying access to the IP address used to host www.MakeLoveNotSpam.com. Tracing a route to the host from Netcraft's main site in the UK reveals that access to the MakeLoveNotSpam.com site has been blackholed by Global Crossing's worldwide network, leaving the site accessible from some areas but not others:

www.MakeLoveNotSpam.com

A dynamically updating chart of site performance for MakeLoveNotSpam.com is available here.

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Spam Sites Crippled by Lycos Screensaver DDoS

A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack launched by users of Lycos Europe's MakeLoveNotSpam.com screensaver has succeeded in crippling several spammer sites, but some of the targeted sites remain available.

While Internet users debate the ethics of the initiative, Lycos Europe is denying reports that the MakeLoveNotSpam site was hacked and defaced last night. An intrusion by hackers would be a serious concern for an operation that controls an army of computers with DDoS capabilities. The site has been unreachable today, which could be related to traffic from Slashdot rather than a counterattack.

Lycos Europe is offering a "screensaver that spams the spammers," using idle computer time to attack sites that have been blacklisted for abusive spamming practices. Monitoring of three of the targets housed on Chinese servers shows that two of the sites, bokwhdok.com and printmediaprofits.biz, have been knocked offline by the attack. A third target, rxmedherbals.info, has remained largely available, with intermittent outages.

Performance of sites targeted by Lycos screensaver attack

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December 2004 Web Server Survey

In the December 2004 survey we received responses from 56,923,737 sites. The gain of 808,722 sites continues the Internet's powerful growth as a medium for communications and commerce, which has continued at near-record pace in 2004 despite a steady drumbeat of security threats.

Trends contributing to the expansion include the growth of retail e-commerce and online banking, as well as lower prices for domain names. Domain registrars and hosting companies say small businesses have been active purchasers of domains and web sites, suggesting that the Internet's benefits as a business tool have overcome fears about Internet security, which are often cited as a factor in delayed adoption of the Web by some small businesses.

In 2004 the Web has emulated the financial market model of "climbing a wall of worry," averaging 911,000 new sites a month amid a wave of security incidents. Prominent security headlines featured the MyDoom DDoS, the Witty worm, a TCP security hole, the spread of the Download.Ject exploit through web sites, a JPEG-based attack, an IFRAME exploit spread through banner ad networks (November), and a year-long surge in phishing attacks.

Trends in the web server sector continue apace, with both Apache and Microsoft gaining sites as their shares hold steady.

Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - December 2004

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - December 2004

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

Top Developers
DeveloperNovember 2004PercentDecember 2004PercentChange
Apache3802864267.773861467367.840.07
Microsoft1192356621.251206276121.19-0.06
Sun17617053.1418129663.180.04
Zeus7390061.326875081.21-0.11

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Republicans Blocking International Access to Official Sites

The Republican Party appears to again be blocking Internet users from outside the United States from visiting its official web sites, with www.gop.com, www.rnc.org and www.GeorgeWBush.com all dropping traffic that originates outside North America. The timing and implementation of the blocking - which is now being provided through the political party's own web host rather than Akamai - suggests an ongoing interest in traffic filtering unrelated to the recent election.

The sites are all hosted by the Republican National Committee, the official site of America's governing party, which currently controls the Senate and House of Representatives as well as the White House. The blocking expands a practice implemented on the GeorgeWBush.com domain during the final week of the U.S. presidential campaign, when the Bush campaign site used Akamai's content management service to manage incoming traffic, citing security concerns.

On Nov. 24, the GeorgeWBush.com site stopped using Akamai and began having its domain name server (DNS) requests handled by the RNC's server, and redirecting traffic to the RNC's main site, gop.com. The RNC now appears to possess the capability to implement geographic blocking similar to the services Akamai provided for GeorgeWBush.com. Since Nov. 26, the rnc.org, gop.com and GeorgeWBush.com domains all show an identical pattern of failed requests from stations in London, Amsterdam and Sydney, while Netcraft's four U.S. monitoring stations show no performance problems.

GeorgeWBush.com Site Performance from Amsterdam GeorgeWBush.com Site Performance from New York

A dynamically updating chart of site performance for GeorgeWBush.com is available here.

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