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Sites pwned repeatedly, survey finds

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Phishers compromise LAMP-based websites for days at a time and hit the same victims over and over again, according to an Anti-Phishing Working Group survey.

Sites built on Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP are the favoured targets of phishing attackers, the APWG report found, with between 76 and 82 per cent of respondents using one or more components of the LAMP architecture.

All 270 websites surveyed had been cracked. In the vast majority of cases, the sites were not the primary targets, but were compromised to act as launching pads for phishing attacks against third parties.

"While we acknowledge that LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP – is the most popular web operating environment, the APWG IPC is concerned that this profile is exploited with such apparent frequency," the report, authored by ICANN's Dave Piscitello, noted.

According to the latest numbers from Netcraft, Apache has about a 63 per cent market share.

The APWG survey also found that 37 per cent of sites had been pwned more than once in the last 12 months, and that 35 per cent were under the control of the attackers for two days or more.

The report (which can be downloaded here) also showed that many webmasters were largely clueless about how and when the attackers managed to break in – 52 per cent of respondents had to be notified about the breach by anti-phishing companies.

Thirty four per cent of respondents blamed their PHP applications for the compromise, but 45 per cent admitted they had no idea how the attackers got in. ®

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