December 2012 Web Server Survey

In the December 2012 survey we received responses from 633,706,564 sites - an increase of over 8 million since November.

Microsoft IIS experienced the largest gain this month, with the movement of an advertising network of 4.7M Apache hostnames to IIS 7.5 contributing to an overall 8.2M increase - their largest in over a year. As a result of the switch, Apache saw an equivalent loss, reducing their market share by 1.53 percentage points. Despite Apache's continuing downward trend over the last few months, they still hold on to more than half of the market (55.70%). Strong growth was also experienced by nginx this month, with a gain of 2M hostnames resulting in another increase to its market share.

nginx also further increased its market share within the million busiest sites, which now stands at 12.44%, as did Microsoft, which remains slightly ahead with a 13.22% share. While overall the survey sees IIS/6.0 as the most popular version of Microsoft's web server software, with a 41 percentage point lead over other versions, within the million busiest sites IIS/7.5 looks set to soon overtake it. IIS/7.5 is now used to serve 40% of IIS websites within the top million, just 4.8k and 4 percentage points behind IIS/6.0.

Linux Rootkit Found Infecting Webservers with iFrame Injection

A new rootkit, which can infect web servers running on 64-bit GNU/Linux, has been discovered which attacks web surfers with drive-by-downloads. The malware works by injecting an iFrame directly into the outgoing TCP packets of the infected machine, allowing it to infect all web traffic from the server. It was first discovered on a server running nginx, however it does not appear to be targeting nginx specifically.

ICANN Early Warnings Filed

More than half of the sites found by Netcraft's survey use the .com top-level domain, but ICANN is in the process of creating additional TLDs. On 20 November 2012, the Governmental Advisory Committee of ICANN filed 242 Early Warnings on individual applications for new top-level domains. These warnings are notices rather than formal objections, and do not directly lead to a process that can result in an application being rejected; however, they are indicative of likely formal objections later on in the application process. Most of the warnings that have been issued consist of "requests for information, or requests for clarity on certain aspects of an application".

Prominent among the list of Early Warnings is Amazon EU, which applied for .app, .book, .cloud, .game, .mail, .map, .mobile, .movie, .music, .news, .search, .shop, .show, .song, .store, .tunes, .video, plus several other unicode TLDs in other scripts and languages. Many of these TLDs have been described as generic terms that relate to broad market sectors, which could have a negative impact on competition if Amazon is to exclude other entities from using them.

India, Australia and the United States have each objected to .airforce, .army and .navy being applied for by United TLD Holdco Ltd. The United States simply claims that these strings are confusingly similar to the names of specific government agencies, while both India and Australia note that words associated with the armed forces are protected in national legislation, and the applied for TLDs could mislead users into thinking that a registrant is associated with these national armed forces.

India goes further to state that these applications have the potential to cause irreparable harm to the security and stability of the nation and suggests that the applicant should withdraw their application. The final rationale behind India's warning makes its position clear: "Allowing sovereign functions in the exclusive hands of foreign corporations whose motivations are unknown, and whose jurisdictions are not accessible for national government should NOT be allowed to happen by ICANN."

Applicants who wish to continue with their applications are advised by the Early Warning document to notify the Governmental Advisory Committee of their intended actions and when these actions will be completed. However, ICANN will still continue to process applications which do not receive a response. Conversely, if an applicant decides to withdraw their application, the applicant can receive a refund of up to 80% of the evaluation fee ($148,000).

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DeveloperNovember 2012PercentDecember 2012PercentChange