This article is for our international audience, Dutch visitors can read this post.
Dutch hosting provider Antagonist is proud to announce their unique and in-house developed technology that automatically detects and fixes vulnerabilities in their customers’ websites. Antagonist is the first hosting provider on the planet to offer this service, and plans to license the technology to other hosting providers as well. The company has over 60.000 customers and was recognized by Deloitte as one of the 50 fastest growing tech companies in the Benelux.
Website vulnerabilities: a large scale issue that is commonly ignored
Dutch technology news site Tweakers.net reported last Sunday: “Hacker was able to crack Diginotar through vulnerable CMS-software”. Diginotar was a SSL Certificate Authority, that went bankrupt as a result of the security breach. Unfortunately, cases like these appear to be the rule rather than the exception. Almost every day, new vulnerabilities are discovered in popular and widely used software, such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. Webmasters use this software to maintain the content of their websites. Hackers use the vulnerabilities in this software to crack the website and abuse it for phishing, spam and other malicious practices.
Automatically detecting and fixing vulnerabilities
Antagonist developed a unique and innovative technology that allows them to support their customers in keeping their websites safe. The software regularly scans the websites for vulnerabilities and automatically fixes the detected security holes. In case the website is compromised, in spite of the security measures, the software automatically cleans up any uploaded malware.
As soon as a vulnerability is detected, we inform the customer. We also explain how the customer can resolve the issue. In case the customer does not respond to our first notice within the next two weeks, we automatically patch the vulnerability.
Today’s announcement makes Antagonist the first hosting provider on the planet to offer this exclusive service to their customers, allowing them to automatically fix vulnerabilities. Existing customers can make use of this service free of charge.
“For the webmasters as well as the visitors of our customers’ websites, this is a huge step forward in making the Internet a safer place”, states Wouter de Vries, CEO and founder of Antagonist.
Webmasters do not know how to go about fixing vulnerabilities
63 percent of the webmasters who maintain a hacked website has no idea how their website got hacked. A mere 6 percent actually detects the security breach on their own. These are the findings of a report by StopBadware and security company Commtouch. For their research “Compromised Websites: An Owner’s perspective” (pdf) they spoke to over 600 webmasters and website owners.
Less than half of the webmasters (46 percent) was able to fix the vulnerability themselves through the help of a forum or other external resource. 20 percent consulted the expertise of a security company and 14 percent was only able to fix the problem with help from their hosting provider.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
While developing this technology, we based our approach on the well known verb “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Traditional technologies aimed at website security only start responding after the website has been hacked; they treat the damage caused by a successful hack instead of preventing the hack in the first place. Antagonist proactively fixes security vulnerabilities in, for example, Content Management Software. In cases where the website is compromised, in spite of the security measures, the software automatically cleans up any uploaded malware.
This new service will be directly available to our customers and will remain free of charge until at least the first quarter of 2013. Currently this technology is exclusively available at Antagonist, but we’re working with other companies to make the service available to other webmasters as well. Companies that are interested in integrating their products with our technology, in particular hosting providers, are invited to contact us at email@example.com.