Rivalry between Media Websites Results in Netscape Being Hacked Via an XSS Attack

Acunetix scans for Cross-Site Scripting vulnerabilities preventing website defacement


London, UK -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/28/2006, an online social media website, has been hacked through a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in their recently launched news service. It is reported that the attack was launched by fans of, a competing social networking website. The hackers used the XSS vulnerability to inject their own JavaScript code into the homepage and other pages on the site.

The hack was discovered by Finnish security vendor (F-Secure), during their research work around cross-site scripting vulnerabilities on social networking sites. Digg fans used cross-site scripting attacks to display JavaScript pop-up alerts with "comical" messages aimed at redirecting visitors to their site. Fortunately no malicious code was injected. Netscape released a statement yesterday afternoon stating that the vulnerability had been patched and that visitors are once again safe.

Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner automatically audits web applications and checks whether these applications are secure from exploitable vulnerabilities to such hack attacks as cross site scripting. Although Netscape has now fixed the flaw, an automated check of Netscape’s website (using Acunetix WVS) could have prevented this attack and saved the company from denting its reputation and the subsequent loss of customer trust. Furthermore, hackers could have injected code aimed at stealing personal customer data rather than defacement. Most hackers, nowadays, attack websites because of the payoff from stealing such sensitive data as credit cards and social security numbers.

Acunetix provides free audit to help companies determine the security of their websites

Enterprises who would like to have their website security checked can register for a free audit by visiting 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:;

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For more information:
Please email Tamara Borg:
Acunetix Ltd: Tel: (+44) 0845 6126712; Fax: (+44) 0845 6126716.