White House goes Open Source

The White House launched a new version of its website on Saturday. While little has changed on the surface, the underlying technology is now powered by the open source Drupal content management system.

White House hosting history

The www.whitehouse.gov site was previously served by Microsoft IIS 6.0, but the new server software identifies itself as "White House". The new site continues to use Akamai's content delivery network for caching.

White House server headers

Drupal is the 6th largest PHP-based content management system in Netcraft's Web Server Survey, being found on more than 400,000 websites. Drupal's security will no doubt be put to the test in the coming weeks, as the White House website has always stood as an obvious target for hackers. Drupal's security team has a full disclosure policy of announcing security problems after they have been fixed, rather than withholding the information from its users.

Drupal's core security advisories are made public at http://drupal.org/security. Eight advisories have been published so far this year, which have included two highly critical file inclusion flaws which could have allowed remote attackers to execute code on Windows servers.

GeoCities Closure sees Surge in Phishing

Following its initial announcement on April 23, Yahoo! will today close down its GeoCities free hosting service and delete all GeoCities files from their servers. Existing members are being encouraged to move their sites to the commercial Yahoo! Web Hosting service, and GeoCities Plus customers will be able to upgrade to Yahoo! Web Hosting at no extra charge.

Not all traces of GeoCities will disappear after today — Yahoo! states that existing GeoCities email addresses will continue to work, and the Internet Archive has been working to archive as many sites as possible before GeoCities closes today.

Free hosting services have always been attractive to fraudsters, and the speculation over the profitably of GeoCities may not have been the only reason for today's closure — nearly all of the phishing attacks hosted on geocities.com this month were actually targeted against its owner, Yahoo!. Although Yahoo! stopped accepting new registrations on April 23, the number of phishing attacks hosted at geocities.com has seen a surge in October. Of the 930 confirmed phishing sites hosted at GeoCities in 2009, 143 of these were reported this month.

Today's closure will no doubt inconvenience some fraudsters, but other free hosting services are available, and indeed, plenty of these are already used to host phishing sites.

October 2009 Web Server Survey

In the October 2009 survey, we received responses from 230,443,449 sites. Apache is responsible for more than 60% of this month's total growth of 4.3 million sites.

Apache gained 2.6 million sites in total, including 748 thousand new Apache sites at German hosting company Hetzner Online. Many of Hetzner's new sites are using the dyns.cx dynamic DNS service, which allows customers to use hostnames such as yourname.dyns.cx to point to IP addresses at Hetzner.

Despite Apache's overall growth, it suffered a loss of 646 thousand sites in the United States. This loss is largely attributable to The Planet, where 1.4 million expired hostnames resulted in a net loss of 706 thousand sites.

nginx showed significant growth again this month, with 1.1 million additional sites bringing its total up to 13.8 million. This web server software is particularly predominant at China Telecom, where it is used by more than 80% of their 7.9 million websites. China Telecom also showed the largest gain in nginx sites this month, contributing more than half a million sites to the worldwide gain of 1.1 million. 424 thousand of these new nginx sites belong to blogs at 163.com.

Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - October 2009

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - October 2009

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - October 2009

Top Developers
DeveloperSeptember 2009PercentOctober 2009PercentChange

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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in September 2009

Rank Company site OS Outage
DNS Connect First
1 Hosting 4 Less Linux    0.000  0.194 0.112 0.228 0.574
2 Server Intellect Windows Server 2008    0.000  0.252 0.115 0.233 0.519
3 DataPipe FreeBSD  0:00:00  0.005  0.192 0.008 0.017 0.017
4 Virtual Internet Linux  0:00:00  0.005  0.052 0.044 0.149 0.246
5 www.green.ch F5 BIG-IP  0:00:00  0.005  0.274 0.055 0.723 0.891
6 INetU unknown  0:00:00  0.005  0.166 0.061 0.129 0.253
7 Pair Networks FreeBSD  0:00:00  0.005  0.315 0.087 0.178 0.440
8 www.netcetera.co.uk Windows Server 2003  0:00:00  0.010  0.215 0.032 0.067 0.159
9 www.navisite.com Linux  0:00:00  0.010  0.313 0.063 0.597 0.746
10 New York Internet FreeBSD  0:00:00  0.010  0.261 0.072 0.149 0.362

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Hosting 4 Less and Server Intellect had the most reliable hosting company sites in September 2009.

Server Intellect marks its second consecutive month as one of the most reliable hosting company sites, managing to respond to every request made by Netcraft's globally distributed performance monitors. Their site is powered by ASP.NET and uses IIS 7.0 on Windows Server 2008. The company achieved Microsoft Security Solutions Competency earlier this year, which is their fourth competency within the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Program.

Hosting 4 Less was the only other company to respond to all of Netcraft's requests throughout September, earning it joint first place with Server Intellect. Hosting 4 Less partnered with buySAFE in June, enabling their customers to use buySAFE Bonding on their websites for free.

DataPipe was one of the most reliable hosting company sites in August, and only narrowly missed out on the same achievement in September. DataPipe has shown some good results over the past six months, notching up five top-ten appearances, including three first places.

Hosting 4 Less uses the Apache web server on Linux to run its main site. In total, three of September's top ten hosting companies use Linux and another three use FreeBSD. Netcetera is still using Windows Server 2003, while green.ch uses an F5 BIG-IP device.

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September 2009 Web Server Survey

In the September 2009 survey we received responses from 226,099,841 sites, reflecting a modest rise of 149 thousand sites.

Taking the limelight this month is nginx, which gained 1.2 million sites, beating Apache's growth of 823 thousand. The popular Russian social networking site Vkontakte is the most popular nginx site appearing in Netcraft's million busiest sites. Other popular nginx sites include the comedic Fail Blog and I Can Has Cheezburger? sites, which are both WordPress blogs owned by Pet Holdings, Inc.

lighttpd suffers a significant loss this month, in stark contrast to its impressive growth last month which took its total up to more than two million sites. lighttpd has lost more than half of its sites since last month leaving its new total at 844 thousand. This drop was mainly due to the loss of 1 million sites on the tubely.com domain, which were hosted on the Amazon AWS service.

lighttpd promotes itself as a fast web server suitable for Web 2.0 sites like YouTube, Wikipedia and Meebo, with an event-driven architecture optimised for high performance AJAX applications.

Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - September 2009

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - September 2009

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - September 2009

Top Developers
DeveloperAugust 2009PercentSeptember 2009PercentChange

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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in August 2009

Rank Company site OS Outage
DNS Connect First
1 DataPipe unknown  0:00:00  0.034  0.112 0.008 0.016 0.016
2 Server Intellect Windows Server 2008  0:00:00  0.034  0.078 0.088 0.178 0.369
3 Swishmail FreeBSD  0:00:00  0.039  0.216 0.056 0.113 0.248
4 New York Internet FreeBSD  0:00:00  0.039  0.160 0.067 0.141 0.343
5 INetU unknown  0:00:00  0.039  0.158 0.071 0.150 0.224
6 www.memset.com Linux  0:00:00  0.039  0.184 0.097 0.207 0.207
7 www.seeweb.it Linux  0:00:00  0.045  0.366 0.064 0.133 0.143
8 Virtual Internet Linux  0:00:00  0.050  0.196 0.037 0.129 0.218
9 iWeb Technologies Linux  0:00:00  0.050  0.224 0.077 0.154 0.154
10 ReliableServers.com unknown  0:00:00  0.056  0.307 0.057 0.123 0.180

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DataPipe and Server Intellect had the most reliable hosting company sites in August 2009.

This is the 4th appearance in the top ten for DataPipe in the last 5 months. The Jersey City based company offers a number of hosting and managed services to a range of vertical industries including the financial services, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

Server Intellect has reached the number one position for the first time this year. They run Windows Server 2008 and are Microsoft Gold Partners, recently achieving Microsoft Security Solutions Competency.

This month sees four company sites using Linux, two using FreeBSD and one using Windows Server 2008.

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