Netcraft Extension adds protection against malicious JavaScript

Netcraft has updated its browser extension to add protection against malicious JavaScript, including shopping site skimmers and web miners.

The Netcraft Extension now protects against malicious JavaScript

The Netcraft Extension now protects against malicious JavaScript

Shopping site skimmers are malicious JavaScript programs that steal your payment card information when you checkout on a compromised online store, and send it back to a fraudster to use later. These attacks have affected a large number of online shops, and are invisible to even the most vigilant shoppers as there is no visual change to the page.

Web miners are malicious JavaScript programs inserted by fraudsters into a website that let them steal your CPU power to mine for cryptocurrency using your browser without your consent. Browsing a website with a web miner can often slow down your computer by consuming its resources.

Netcraft proactively scans for new shopping site skimmers, web miners, and other malicious JavaScript on the web. In the past six months, we have found malicious JavaScript affecting over 70,000 sites on over 29,000 distinct IPs. We have identified these attacks on high-profile sites such as Cleor (a large French jewellery retailer), Misfit (a wearable devices brand), and Arctic (a PC components and accessories retailer), as well as on the personalized merchandise stores for dozens of sports clubs, including Southampton's and Swansea's.

A well-hidden shopping site skimmer

A well-hidden shopping site skimmer

By using the Netcraft Extension you can get protection from these types of attack as soon as we detect them. It was first made available for Internet Explorer in 2004, Firefox in 2005, Chrome in 2012, Opera in 2013, and Microsoft Edge earlier this year.

Select your browser to download the Netcraft Extension now:

Firefox chrome_64x64 opera_64x64 edge-logo

If you already have the Netcraft Extension installed your browser will update it automatically.

The Netcraft app for Android also provides protection against these attacks, while the Netcraft app for iOS provides protection against phishing attacks.

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August 2019 Web Server Survey

In the August 2019 survey we received responses from 1,271,920,923 sites across 239,441,736 unique domain names and 8,948,887 web-facing computers. This reflects a large loss of 124 million sites, but a gain of 1.30 million domains and 10,700 computers.

All major vendors lost active sites this month, and of those, only Google made a gain in sites (+1.58 million). Microsoft lost the largest number of active sites (-2.03 million), while nginx lost the most sites (-81.4 million, -16.9%) but remains in the lead with a 31.6% share of all sites.

Despite losing so many sites, nginx showed the strongest growth in unique domains, web-facing computers, and among the top million sites. This bears more significance than the more unpredictable changes in the site counts, which are prone to fluctuations month-on-month as link farms, spam networks and other low-value web content comes and goes.

With a gain of 58,500 web-facing computers, nginx now has more than 31% of the computer market share – just 5.39 percentage points behind Apache – while Microsoft has lost 65,000 computers. As is evident in the graphs, counting web-facing computers provides the most stable metric and makes long term trends easy to spot. In particular, the clear and consistent rise in nginx's market share and the steady decline of Apache makes it hard not to imagine nginx taking the market lead from Apache by early next year.

The number of top-million websites powered by nginx has increased by 1,292, while Apache's count fell by 3,101. Apache maintains the lead in this market, but is now only 5.92 percentage points ahead of nginx. Apache also continues to lead in terms of unique domains, despite losing 784,000 this month. It has a similar lead over nginx, which is now only 5.32 percentage points behind Apache after gaining 753,000 domains.

Microsoft lost counts in almost all metrics this month, apart from where it gained 166,000 domains, although this still resulted in a small drop in its domain market share. The sites market is the only one where its share did not fall, despite losing 16.6 million sites.

Netflix finds nginx vulnerabilities

nginx 1.61.1 stable and nginx 1.17.3 mainline were released on 13th August, in order to address three HTTP/2 security issues that could cause excessive memory consumption and CPU usage. All versions between 1.9.5 – 1.17.2 are affected, but only if HTTP/2 is enabled. These security issues were discovered by Jonathan Looney at Netflix, which chose to use nginx when developing its own globally distributed content delivery network, known as Netflix Open Connect.

The content delivery network consists of Open Connect Appliances, which run the FreeBSD operating system and use nginx to stream audio and video directly to Netflix customers. Most of this content is served from appliances hosted by ISPs, rather than across the internet, which leads to better performance whilst vastly reducing the amount of peered traffic when huge numbers of customers worldwide stream a popular show at the same time. Thousands of ISPs have enthusiastically participated in this program because it is free to connect to the Open Connect network, and it prevents Netflix traffic from taking up a significant amount of an ISP's internet capacity.

FreeBSD is dying?!

Netflix chose FreeBSD for its balance of stability and features (as did Netcraft once upon a time), but it is becoming an increasingly less common frontend operating system on the web as a whole. Only 60,200 (0.67%) web-facing computers are running FreeBSD today. To put this into perspective, more than twice as many servers are still running Windows Server 2003, even though it has not been supported for several years.

Linux is by far the most commonly used operating system for web-facing computers. It is installed on 6.64 million (74.2%) servers, and at least 1.05 million of these can be positively identified as running the Ubuntu distribution.

Naturally, the choice of operating system depends to some extent on what type of web server will be running on it, and vice versa. For example, it is no surprise that most instances of Microsoft IIS can be found running on Windows Server, and most instances of Windows Server are used to run Microsoft IIS; but it is clear that the Linux operating system is especially favoured for some web servers. Between 92% and 96% of all web-facing computers that use each of nginx, Apache, Litespeed and lighttpd can be found running Linux.

AWS ELB overtakes Beaver

The awselb (Amazon Web Services Elastic Load Balancing) web server was found on 69,800 web-facing computers this month, overtaking Beaver to become the fourth most commonly used frontend server by computers. Practically all of these machines appear to be running Linux, and are responsible for hosting 464,000 sites across 48,500 unique domains.

ELB achieves fault tolerance and scalability by automatically distributing incoming application traffic across multiple targets – and can even spread it across multiple AWS Availability Zones – so the 69,800 AWS ELB servers exposed to the internet are likely to be only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the AWS infrastructure used by each website.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperJuly 2019PercentAugust 2019PercentChange
nginx482,877,27534.59%401,454,02931.56%-3.03
Apache387,366,82627.75%374,277,24329.43%1.68
Microsoft203,673,34414.59%187,109,42314.71%0.12
Google29,385,0652.11%30,969,2592.43%0.33
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in July 2019

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Rackspace Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.650 0.005 0.013 0.013
2 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.241 0.076 0.155 0.155
3 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.240 0.084 0.169 0.169
4 Pair Networks Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.343 0.093 0.186 0.186
5 GoDaddy.com Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.433 0.004 0.021 0.022
6 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.005 0.236 0.074 0.377 0.378
7 CWCS Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.302 0.079 0.162 0.162
8 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.005 0.239 0.081 0.162 0.163
9 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.174 0.083 0.167 0.167
10 www.dinahosting.com Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.294 0.096 0.191 0.191

See full table

In July 2019 Rackspace had the most reliable hosting company site, with no failed requests and an average connection time of 5ms. Rackspace offers a range of managed dedicated and cloud hosting solutions from data centres in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. In the past six months, Rackspace has had the most reliable hosting company site three times and been in the top 10 each month.

Bigstep, ServerStack and Pair Networks complete the top four, each responding to all of Netcraft's requests in July. These companies are therefore ranked by their average connection time. Bigstep offers "bare metal" cloud hosting to provide the flexibility of cloud hosting but without the associated overhead and performance reductions of virtualization.

The six sites that complete the top 10 each failed to respond to a single request by Netcraft in July. GoDaddy came in fifth place with the fastest average connection time among all monitored providers of 4ms.

SmartOS and FreeBSD each make an appearance in the top 10 but Linux continues to dominate, powering eight of the top 10 sites in July.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around twenty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

July 2019 Web Server Survey

In the July 2019 survey we received responses from 1,395,897,118 sites across 238,145,990 unique domain names and 8,938,144 web-facing computers. This reflects gains of 62.5 million sites, 1.15 million domains, and 98,000 computers.

nginx continues to extend its lead at the top of the list of web server vendors by total number of sites: it has gained 43.3 million sites since the June 2019 survey, bringing its total to 483 million. It now leads second-place Apache by 6.84 percentage points.

nginx has achieved the milestone of serving more than a third of sites in the survey. It becomes the fourth web server to achieve this in the 24 years since Netcraft's Web Server Survey began in August 1995. At that time NCSA [archive.org] - one of the very earliest web servers - served 53% of all sites. NCSA was quickly replaced by Apache, which passed the one-third milestone in June 1996 and continued to serve more than a third of sites until February 2016. Microsoft have served more than a third of sites for four separate periods most recently falling below a third in January 2019.

Unusually, nginx did not fare as well in any of the other metrics this month, losing out in both absolute numbers and market share in terms of domains (-4.0 million, -1.81pp), active sites (-1.2 million, -1.00pp) and in the top million busiest sites (-9,300, -0.93pp). The drops in domains and active sites are accounted for by large changes at two hosting providers; 2.8 million domains hosted by Endurance International Group moved from using nginx to Apache, and 1.5 million domains and 1.4 million active sites hosted by ecommerce provider Shopify now identify as using cloudflare. nginx also lost a small amount of market share of web-facing computers (-0.10pp) despite gaining 21,300 in absolute terms. These losses buck the trend of recent months that has seen nginx gaining market share from Apache and Microsoft.

Apache gained both the largest number of domains and the largest number of active sites since the June survey with increases of 2.2 million and 2.1 million respectively. Microsoft gained the largest number of web-facing computers with an increase of 43,200.

Cloudflare's web server moves up another place into fourth this month after gaining 4.7 million sites to bring its total to 39.9 million. It serves 9.5 million more sites than fifth placed openresty, but stands well behind the 190 million sites served by Microsoft's IIS. The 39.9 million sites served using Cloudflare are spread across 15.2 million unique domains, 2.6 sites per domain, a significantly smaller number of sites per domain than the top three placed web servers. Nginx has 8.2 sites per domain, Apache has 5.3, and Microsoft IIS has 9.3; the total for all sites in the survey is 5.8 sites per domain.

Envoy - the open source edge and service proxy for cloud-native applications, which leapt up to the tenth largest web server by sites in the May survey - has dropped over 200 places and is only seen hosting 13,000 sites in the July survey. This comes as a result of Squarespace sites no longer identifying themselves as using Envoy, but rather announcing "Squarespace" as the web server. Squarespace is the eleventh largest web server by number of sites with 5.2 million sites on 2.8 million unique domains; the seventh largest number of domains.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

DeveloperJune 2019PercentJuly 2019PercentChange
nginx439,626,71332.97%482,877,27534.59%1.62
Apache374,360,94928.08%387,366,82627.75%-0.32
Microsoft205,235,29115.39%203,673,34414.59%-0.80
Google28,181,7442.11%29,385,0652.11%-0.01
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Netcraft releases anti-phishing extension for Microsoft Edge

The Netcraft Anti-Phishing Extension is now available for Microsoft Edge.

Netcraft anti-phishing extension on Microsoft Edge.

Netcraft anti-phishing extension on Microsoft Edge.

The Netcraft Anti-Phishing Extension provides phishing and XSS protection as well as informing you about the websites you visit. It was first made available for Internet Explorer in December 2004, followed by Firefox in 2005, Chrome in 2012 and Opera in 2013. Microsoft Edge is now supported with the arrival of the extension in the Windows Store. The extension is compatible with the current version of Microsoft Edge (34+) as well as the preview version available at Microsoft Edge Insider.

The extension displays a website's hosting provider, country, longevity and popularity, along with an abstracted risk rating for each site. Its key features are:

  • Protection against phishing sites — the Netcraft anti-phishing community is effectively a giant neighbourhood watch scheme, empowering the most alert and most expert members to defend everyone within the community. As soon as the first recipients of a phishing mail report it, Netcraft blocks it for all users of the extension, providing an additional level of protection from phishing. Netcraft processes reports of fraudulent URLs from a variety of sources and proactively searches for new fraudulent sites.
  • Detailed site reports — simply click the Netcraft logo to access a wealth of information about the sites you visit, helping you to make informed choices about their safety.
  • Risk ratings — we evaluate the characteristics of the site compared against those depicted by fraudulent sites. The result is a simple visual summary displayed on the site report.
  • Convenient reporting for suspected phishing & fraudulent sites — at the click of the button you can report suspected web forgeries to Netcraft, helping to protect the community. Netcraft operates an incentive scheme for phishing site submissions, including iPads, backpacks, mugs, and more. As of July 2019, over 65 million phishing sites have been detected and blocked by Netcraft since its anti-phishing service was launched.
  • Protection against cross site scripting (XSS) — the extension optionally traps XSS and other suspicious URLs which contain characters highly likely to deceive.
Blocked Page Example

Left: Microsoft Edge without the Extension - Right: The Netcraft Extension blocking page

The extension is now available to download from the Microsoft Store and once installed will automatically start blocking malicious sites. It is also available from the Google Chrome Store, Opera add-ons page and the Firefox add-ons page.

English badge

Netcraft has also released apps for iOS and Android, which protect your mobile device from phishing attacks.

Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in June 2019

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 GoDaddy.com Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.423 0.004 0.018 0.018
2 Rackspace Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.644 0.005 0.013 0.013
3 Webair Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.327 0.074 0.150 0.151
4 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.000 0.238 0.075 0.375 0.375
5 CWCS Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.308 0.082 0.165 0.165
6 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.177 0.083 0.166 0.166
7 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.239 0.085 0.170 0.170
8 Pair Networks Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.346 0.093 0.185 0.185
9 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.241 0.076 0.154 0.154
10 Netcetera Linux 0:00:00 0.005 0.224 0.088 0.181 0.181

See full table

GoDaddy had the most reliable hosting company site in June 2019; it responded to all of Netcraft's requests with an average connection time of just 4ms. GoDaddy provides a wide range of hosting and domain registration services, including its widely used website builder software, which provides customers with a simple way to create a web presence.

The next seven most reliable sites also responded to all of our requests, and are separated in the ranking by their average connection time. This puts Rackspace in a close second place, with an average time of 5ms. This is the fifth consecutive month with Rackspace placing in the top 10, topping the list twice in that time. Rackspace offers a range of managed dedicated and cloud hosting solutions.

Webair came third this month, following an appearance at the top of the chart in May. Webair provides a range of services including managed hosting solutions and high performance cloud environments.

Linux continues to be the dominant choice of operating system among the top 10, powering nine of the ten sites this month. SmartOS also makes an appearance at 4th place.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around twenty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.