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Acunetix Offers Free Web Vulnerability Scanner

Acunetix launches free cross site scripting security scanner

LONDON -- Acunetix today launched a free edition of its popular web vulnerability scanner, which allows companies to check for cross site scripting vulnerabilities in their websites at no charge. The Free Edition of Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner (WVS) is available immediately at http://www.acunetix.com/cross-site-scripting/scanner.htm.

What is Cross Site Scripting?

Cross Site Scripting allows an attacker to embed malicious JavaScript, VBScript, ActiveX, HTML, or Flash into a vulnerable dynamic page to fool the user, executing the script on his machine in order to gather data. The use of XSS might compromise private information, manipulate or steal cookies, create requests that can be mistaken for those of a valid user, or execute malicious code on the end-user systems. The data is usually formatted as a hyperlink containing malicious content and which is distributed over any possible means on the internet. Cross site scripting vulnerabilities are extremely dangerous and the number of the attacks is on the rise. More information about Cross Site Scripting can be found at http://www.acunetix.com/websitesecurity/cross-site-scripting.htm

Many a large-scale corporation has fallen prey to Cross Site Scripting, as it is one of the most common yet underestimated of web attacks. In August 2006, hackers stole the personal data of nearly 19,000 DSL equipment customers through a vulnerability in AT&T's online store. Whereas in June 2006, PayPal users were tricked into giving away social security numbers, credit card details and other highly sensitive personal information through a cross site scripting vulnerability in the PayPal website.

A report from Mitre Corp., a US government funded research organization, issued in September 2006 indicated that Cross-Site scripting ranked first in a list of top security risks. In a study conducted by Acunetix, 42% of the websites scanned with Acunetix WVS were found to be vulnerable to Cross Site Scripting.

"Companies don't realize the danger their web sites are under and are therefore reluctant to invest in web vulnerability scanners. Consequently, security officers don't have the tools to protect their websites. The free XSS scanner will give security officers access to a professional cross site scanning tool, that will allow them to assess their web sites for the cross site scripting danger," said Jonathan Spiteri, Technical Manager of Acunetix.

Acunetix Ltd.

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