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80,000 Microsoft IIS servers "disappear" from the Internet
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 03:04:00 -0500 (CDT)
Forwarded by: Patrice Boivin <lori.pat () ns sympatico ca>
By James Middleton
The impact of Code Red and related viruses such as Nimda has caused
over 150,000 IIS-based websites on around 80,000 different machines to
disappear from the internet. It has also resulted in the closure of
one of the most visible proponents of Microsoft technology for mass
According to the most recent Netcraft web server report, released this
week, a significant number of sites running IIS fell off the web
during the Code Red crisis.
The number of IIS servers hooked up to the internet went down even
more when Webjump, an IIS-based virtual hosting service, went under.
At the time it died, Webjump hosted around 280,000 sites.
Microsoft suffered a further blow on the back of this when analyst
Gartner Group issued a strongly worded advisory recommending IIS users
to evaluate alternative products.
Only around 2000 of the 80,000 IP addresses running IIS that
disappeared turned up running a competing web server, indicating that
users have yet to react to Gartner's advice.
Despite evidence to suggest that administrators have been securing
their servers throughout a period of heightened worm activity,
Netcraft's research "shows that numbers of vulnerable Microsoft IIS
sites are actually starting to rise again, after the initial shock and
disruption of Code Red prompted many sites to patch for the first
time", said the company.
Of those high profile sites seen to switch from Microsoft platforms to
Linux, the most noticeable are search engine Infoseek, and the FBI,
which is pushing the secure Linux bandwagon anyway.
But the report did show that Microsoft still owns almost 50 per cent
of the web server market, while Linux is in second place with almost
30 per cent. Next is Solaris and BSD with seven per cent and six per
"The trend is of Linux steadily increasing, Windows maintaining a
large share, and the others slowly losing share," said Netcraft.
But while Microsoft may have the lion's share on a per machine basis,
on a per site basis Apache is king. Because a great majority of the
world's websites are located at hosting and co-location companies, and
technically sophisticated hosting companies can run several thousand
websites on a single computer, the result is more sites running
On this level, Apache holds 60 per cent of the market, while Microsoft
only manages to hang on to 30 per cent.
Netcraft's September 2001 survey was based on data gathered from
32,398,046 websites and can be seen here.
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- 80,000 Microsoft IIS servers "disappear" from the Internet InfoSec News (Oct 04)