Official: Microsoft is the Net's biggest bugger

It leads in using privacy-stealing Web bugs

Microsoft is the biggest bugger in the IT industry. Or to be more precise, its small business portal linkexchange.com (now called bCentral)is the biggest user of Web bugs, according to a survey by Securityspace.com, and available here.

Web bugs, objects such as frames or images, are embedded on a Web site and cause part of the Web page to be retrieved from a different site. In the process, the second web site gets to know who visited the original site.

These web bugs can be used to verify email addresses and collect IP numbers of users, although a while back we ran an article where Register readers, you devious lot, suggested far more nefarious uses for Web bugs. That said, there's a wide range of opinion about the potential for abuse and danger Web bugs represent.

The securityspace.com survey (which is based on a sample of 701176 Web pages retrieved from 101991 different sites) shows that UK ISP Demon (1.2 per cent of sites) is second only to Microsoft (1.4 per cent) in its use of bugs.

Which goes to prove the Great Satan of Software is, as usual, ahead of the Devil himself in privacy stealing technologies... ®

External links

Securityspace.com explanation of Web bugs
Analysis of Web bugs by traffic - Doubleclick.net comes out number one

Related stories

Fun with Internet bugs
E-mail 'bug' danger overstated?
Compromise sought in Windows bug copyright saga
MS protects Mac but not Windows users with web bug mail firewall

Sponsored: How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers