Report a phishing site, gain a chance to win an Ipod

In October we received and reviewed more than 8,700 unique URLs reported to us as phishing sites; by far the busiest month to date.

To further incentivise people reporting phishing sites, each accepted report is now treated as a ticket in a monthly draw for a top of the range iPod.

The October draw was won by Alan. Alan has been one of the largest and most accurate reporters of phishing sites, with several hundred reports accepted to date.

“Every day I feel that I'm doing my small bit to make the Internet a safer place.” said Alan."It's good that there are still people on the Internet who try hard to make it better. Some of them are well known companies like Netcraft, some of us are just anonymous individuals trying to do our bit. As well as the satisfaction of a job well done, it's a lot of fun to have a shiny new toy to play with."

Including the toolbar community itself and customers of ISPs using our Phishing site feed, well over a million people are now protected from phishing by the Netcraft Toolbar.

The Netcraft Toolbar is available for both Internet Explorer and Firefox, and serves as a giant neighborhood watch scheme for the Internet, in which members who encounter a phishing fraud can act to defend the larger community of users against the attack. Once the first recipients of a phishing mail have reported the target URL, it is blocked for toolbar users who subsequently access the URL and widely disseminated attacks simply mean that the phishing attack will be reported and blocked sooner.

Reporting a Suspicious URL

When you visit a page that you believe to be a phishing site, or contains fraudulent or deceptive content, we ask that you report it so that other toolbar users will benefit from your vigilance. The more sites that are reported, the more useful the toolbar will become for everyone.

You can report a URL by clicking on "Report a Phishing Site" in the toolbar menu, accessed by clicking on the Netcraft logo:


After you report a URL, Netcraft will review the report and block the page if we confirm it as part of a phishing attack.

Fiber Cuts Cause Major Outage at Cogent

Substantial parts of Cogent Communications' network are offline, with the company attributing the outages to a pair of fiber cuts. Cogent says the outage is regional and focused on the Southeast United States, but the company's home page is not responding from any of our seven monitoring stations around the globe. One of the fiber cuts is between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. and the other is between Houston and Tampa, according to updates on a network operators mail list. Here is a performance chart for the Cogent home page at


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

Sluggish Performance for Paypal Web Site

The web site for Paypal is experiencing sporadic outages and sluggish response time tonight, with similar performance issues seen from multiple monitoring points. Performance problems for Paypal can have broad impact because the service processes payments for thousands of online businesses. The service, which enables any individual or business with an email address to send and receive payments online, has 86 million users worldwide. This chart shows the recent site performance for

Paypal site performance

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

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Sony DRM Patch Creates Serious Security Hole

A patch for Sony's controversial digital rights management (DRM) software opens a serious security hole when installed on a Windows machine, according to security researchers from Princeton University. The revelation deepens a public relations nightmare for Sony, which has said it will stop selling music CDs which install the DRM monitoring program when the CD is played, and will replace disks that have already been sold.

"The consequences of the flaw are severe," Ed Felten and Alex Halderman write in their weblog. "It allows any web page you visit to download, install, and run any code it likes on your computer. Any web page can seize control of your computer; then it can do anything it likes. That’s about as serious as a security flaw can get."

Security researcher Dan Kaminsky has surveyed Internet nameservers, and found that at least 568,000 DNS servers have received queries unique to the operation of the Sony DRM software, meaning at least that many computers (and probably more) have the problematic rootkit installed. A subset of those will also have the security hole installed by Sony's attempted fix.

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Podcasts Help Drive Demand for High-Volume Hosting

As podcasts and video blogs consume disk space and bandwidth, will these large media files reside with major web hosting providers, niche startups spawned by the Blogosphere, or perhaps Yahoo or Google? As Internet traffic shifts from text and images to video and audio, old hosting business models are being reworked and new ones imagined in anticipation of huge growth for user-generated data.

There's good news for podcasters and video bloggers: storage and bandwidth yearn to be cheap. That's especially true at the world's largest web hosting companies, which have dramatically pumped up the specs on their discount hosting accounts in recent weeks. The massive upgrades, which feature 5 gigabytes of disk space and 250-300 gigs of data transfer for under $5 a month, are partly due to competitive pressures. Prices for shared hosting accounts can't get much lower, forcing providers to compete on disk space and bandwidth as they battle for small business customers.

But the shift also prepares the web hosting industry for high-volume media hosting challenges from Yahoo and Google. At a podcasting trade show Friday, Yahoo confirmed that it is developing a service to publish and host podcasts. The show was also awash with rumors that a similar project is in development at Google, and it seems logical that Microsoft's new push into web-based services will eventually include a podcasting component.

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Malware Knocks Virtual World Offline

A gaming "virtual world" has been knocked offline for the second time in a month by malware distributed by players within the game. Second Life, an innovative online game with more than 80,000 users, took its entire system down for more than five hours Thursday after an instant messaging bot overwhelmed the game grid with a huge volume of messages. A similar incident on Oct. 23 also caused a lengthy system outage when a user program automatically generated more than 5 billion spheres inside the game.

A user-designed multiplayer world, Second Life encourages programmers and graphic artists to create virtual goods and services to sell, and allows players to convert game currency into real-world cash via an online exchange.

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