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Netcraft: No Flight from IIS Yet

The warnings were dire: users disgusted by the security vulnerabilities in IIS that were exploited by Nimda and Code Red would flee Microsoft's Web server in droves. A Web hosting watchdog group says no mass migrations appear to have happened yet.

Netcraft performs a monthly survey of millions of domain names on the Web to determine what operating systems and Web servers are in use.

Netcraft's September numbers came in this week. The results: Internet Information Server grew market share to 30 percent of all active sites. The open source Apache Web server grew at a slower rate but still holds a commanding lead of 60.86 percent. Sun-Netscape's iPlanet dropped again to hover just above 2 percent.

In its August survey, Netcraft reported that the September survey would give the first indications of whether the Code Red group of worms were pushing users to competing Web servers. Since then, analyst firm Gartner strongly urged customers to consider replacing IIS with iPlanet or Apache.

Netcraft noted that roughly 150,000 Microsoft-IIS sites on 80,000 IP addresses were pulled from the Web in the wake of the worm attacks.

"However, the implications for Microsoft are better than one might initially expect," Netcraft's survey summary says. "Of the 80,000 IP addresses no longer running Microsoft-IIS, only around 2,000 are now running a competing Web server."

"It does seem that in most cases sites have been taken down, or port filtered as part of a general tightening of security in the wake of Code Red, rather than the Windows disks being formatted and replaced with Linux/Apache," the Netcraft summary reads.

Netcraft has its own take on why users aren't switching. "Historically the great majority of Web sites have been very complacent about security and place a low priority on it except in the immediate aftermath of an incident," Netcraft writes.

To support the point, Netcraft released results of its regular vulnerability scan run against IIS Secure Sockets Layer sites. Already, the scans are showing the number of vulnerable sites is rising again after a brief Code Red-related drop.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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