DDoS attacks grow more than 200% YoY

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 24, 2013

Internet

Akamai Technologies, Inc, a provider of cloud platform for enterprises today released its Fourth Quarter, 2012 State of the Internet Report. Based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, the report provides insight into key global statistics including connection speeds, attack traffic, and network connectivity and availability.

The Fourth Quarter, 2012 State of the Internet Report includes new observations on Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, analysis of Phase II of the Operation Ababil attacks, and examinations of Internet disruptions in Syria, Bangladesh, and Senegal. The report also reviews mobile browser usage by network connection type collected by Akamai IO.

Highlights from Akamai’s Fourth Quarter, 2012 Report:

Global Internet Penetration

Nearly 700 million unique IPv4 addresses from 240 countries/regions connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform–4.2 percent more than in the third quarter of 2012 and 13 percent more than in the fourth quarter of 2011. Since a single IP address can represent multiple individuals in some cases – such as when users access the Web through a firewall or proxy server – Akamai estimates the total number of unique Web users connecting to its platform during the quarter to be well over 1 billion.

Quarterly growth among all of the top 10 countries ranged from 1.1 percent in Japan to 5.1 percent in Russia. Among the full set of countries/regions worldwide that connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, 75 percent saw a quarterly increase in unique IP address counts.

Year-over-year, the global unique IP address count increased by nearly 10 percent, or more than 71 million, compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. Among the top 10 countries, yearly growth ranged from less than 1 percent in South Korea and Japan (0.2 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively) to double-digit growth rates in Russia (13 percent), China (19 percent), Italy (21 percent) and Brazil (33 percent). Globally, 79 percent of countries/regions had higher unique IP address counts year-over-year.

Attack Traffic and Top Ports Attacked

According to the report, the top countries from which attack traffic originated as well as the top ports targeted by these attacks were identified. It is important to note, however, that the originating country as identified by the source IP address may not represent the nation in which an attacker resides. For example, an individual in the United States may be launching attacks from compromised systems in China.

The study observed attack traffic from 177 unique countries/regions during the fourth quarter of 2012, down from 180 in the third quarter. China again maintained its position as the single largest volume source of observed traffic at 41 percent of the total, up from 33 percent in the prior quarter. The United States remained in the number two spot despite a drop in observed attack traffic from 13 percent to 10 percent in the fourth quarter. Turkey took over Russia’s number three spot with 4.7 percent.

The top 10 countries/regions generated 75 percent of the observed attack traffic during the quarter. China and the United States were responsible for slightly more than 50 percent of total attack traffic.

Port 445 (Microsoft-DS) remained the most targeted port in the fourth quarter, receiving 29 percent of attack traffic. Port 23 (Telnet) was again second at 7.2 percent.

Observations on DDoS Attacks

Akamai customers reported 768 DDoS attacks in 2012, up more than 200 percent from 2011. Of those, 35 percent targeted companies in the commerce sector and 22 percent focused on media and entertainment companies. Enterprise companies, which include financial services, were subject to 20 percent of reported attacks; 14 percent targeted high-tech and nine percent of reported attacks were directed toward Public Sector agencies. The 768 attacks were reported by 413 unique organizations, indicating that many organizations were targeted more than once – some significantly more.

Global Average and Peak Connection Speeds

Quarter-over-quarter, the global average connection speed rose 5 percent to 2.9 Mbps. Further, a total of 98 countries/regions that qualified for inclusion saw average connection speeds increase from the third quarter of 2012, ranging from 0.1 percent growth in the Netherlands and Luxembourg to 23 percent growth in Côte d’Ivoire.

Year-over-year, average connection speeds grew 25 percent, with nine of the top 10 countries also demonstrating growth. In fact, only the Netherlands (3.3 percent), Hong Kong (5.4 percent) and Japan (19 percent) reported growth below 20 percent between 2011 and 2012.

Global average peak connection speeds enjoyed a quarter-over-quarter increase of 4.6 percent to 16.6 Mbps. Hong Kong again claimed the highest peak connection speed at 57.5 Mbps, a rise of 6.2 percent from last quarter.

Year-over-year, global average peak connection speeds once again demonstrated significant improvement, rising 35 percent.