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2/13/2007
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Study: 70% Of Web Sites Are Hackable

A new study shows that majority of sites have medium- to high-level vulnerabilities, and more than 90% have some kind of vulnerability.

About 70% of Web sites contain vulnerabilities that put them at risk of being hacked, according to a new study issued on Tuesday.

A year ago, Acunetix, a Web site security company, began scanning sites, both business and nonbusiness, looking for vulnerabilities. Out of 3,200 sites scanned, 70% had vulnerabilities with either a medium- or high-risk rating, according to an Acunetix announcement. Company analysts say there is an "extremely high probability" of hackers finding and using the vulnerabilities to steal information.

"The results show clearly that the problem of unsafe Web applications is being ignored completely," said Kevin Vella, a VP at Acunetix, in a written statement. "These statistics should compel organizations to take a serious look at their security infrastructure. The recent hacks into TJX, UCLA, and Dolphin Stadium are proof enough that the problem is very real and looks like it is here to stay. Companies, governments, and universities are bound by law to protect our data. Yet Web application security is, at best, overlooked as a fad. Without sounding apocalyptic, I believe the 70% figure should send tremors, not just ripples, in the market."

The survey also shows that, on average, 91% of the Web sites scanned contained some form of Web site vulnerability. Those exploits ranged from the more serious, such as SQL Injection and Cross Site Scripting, to more minor ones, like local path disclosure or directory listing.

About 66 vulnerabilities per Web site were discovered, according to Acunetix, for a total of 210,000 vulnerabilities over the 3,200 scanned sites.

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