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Web attacks on the rise - Acunetix appeals for web security auditing.
[May 29, 2006]

Web attacks on the rise - Acunetix appeals for web security auditing.

Dramatic rise in web application hacks dents online purchasing confidence and causes irreversible damage to businesses

London, UK – 29 May, 2006 – Web hacking attacks reported recently in the media have cost companies millions of dollars in fines, compensation and damage control measures. In a recent security workshop Acunetix CEO, Nick Galea, launched an appeal to companies with an online presence to improve and enforce web application security auditing.

The Cost of Hack Attacks

Consumer data broker ChoicePoint, Inc. had to pay $10 million in civil penalties and $5 million in consumer redress to settle Federal Trade Commission charges after it acknowledged that the personal financial records of more than 163,000 consumers in its database had been compromised in 2005.


ZDNET recently reported that more than 4,000 UK MasterCard holders may have been affected by a security breach that occurred after hackers gained access to credit card details through a UK-based online retailer. Thousands of cards had to be cancelled and re-issued as a result, as well as MasterCard issuers having to call up all customers whose details had been compromised.

Similarly, last month, a San Diego man was charged with hacking into USC admissions Web site and accessing more than 270,000 applications containing sensitive information such as birth dates, addresses and Social Security numbers. USC spent more than $140,000 to notify affected students and also shut down the applications Web site for 10 days. The hack was made via a SQL injection attack.

Attacks on the Increase

Galea revealed worrying statistics: “In a paper presented at the JavaOne conference last year, Cisco security architect Martin Nystrom claimed that as many as 95% of web applications have serious flaws, 80% of which are being vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks”, reported Galea. Attacked sites include the famous open-source repository Sourceforge.net and the popular MySpace.com social network.

Acunetix provides free audit to help companies determine risk level of their website

Enterprises would like to have their website security checked can register for a free audit by visiting www.acunetix.com/security-audit. Participating enterprises will receive a summary audit report showing whether their website is secure or not. Summary reports will be delivered within five business days of submission.

About Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner
Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner ensures website security by automatically checking for SQL injection, Cross site scripting and other vulnerabilities. It checks password strength on authentication pages and automatically audits shopping carts, forms, dynamic content and other web applications. As the scan is being completed, the software produces detailed reports that pinpoint where vulnerabilities exist.

About Acunetix

Acunetix was founded to combat the alarming rise in web attacks. Its flagship product, Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner, is the result of several years of development by a team of highly experienced security developers. Acunetix is a privately held company with headquarters based in Europe (Malta), a US office in Seattle, Washington and an office in London, UK. For more information about Acunetix visit: http://www.acunetix.com.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information:
Please email Tamara Borg: tamara@acunetix.com
Acunetix Ltd: Tel: (+44) 0845 6126712; Fax: (+44) 0845 6126716.
URL: http://www.acunetix.com.

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