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China attack traffic drops but DDoS threat to enterprises rising

23 Jul 2013
A map of China

China produces the most internet attack traffic in the world, although its lead at the top of the charts has been threatened by Indonesia.

Data from network firm Akamai in its quarterly State of the Internet report found that in the first quarter of 2013 a total of 34 percent of attacks originated in China. However, this was down from 41 percent in the previous quarter at the end of 2012.

This drop was due in part to a huge rise in traffic from Indonesia, which rose from just 0.7 percent to 21 percent in the quarter. Akamai said this was most likely due to a rise in botnet activity in the nation.

The US was third, at 8.3 percent, with Turkey fourth on 4.5 percent and Russia fifth at 2.7 percent. All of these numbers represented a decline, which is also most likely due to the huge increase in attacks being sent from Indonesia.

The numbers do not necessarily mean the attacks are being carried out by persons in the nations, as cyber criminals in another nation could be redirecting attacks via compromised systems to make them appear as if they are coming from that country, Akamai noted.

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks also rose in the first quarter of 2013, with 208 reported to Akamai, up from 200 in the same quarter in 2012. The majority of the attacks, 72, targeted enterprises, with the financial services market receiving 36 attacks. Energy firms faced five attacks, as did the automotive industry.

Akamai said the threat to enterprise was likely to grow over time, based on the data the firm was seeing. “The number of DDoS attacks Akamai encounters shows every indication of continuing to grow, with nearly 5 percent more attacks being reported in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2012,” the report said.

“It remains difficult to determine the nature of the attackers because botnets are necessary to create the attacks, and the command and control (C&C) infrastructures of these botnets are designed to protect their owners.”

In other areas of the report, the firm reported a rise in the average internet speed around the world by four percent to 3.1Mbps. South Korea retained its top position, with an average speed of 14.2Mbps, while the UK hit 7.9Mbps, up from 6.5Mbps last year.

Other good news for the UK is that over 20 percent of the nation can now access speeds of above 10Mbps, up from 11 percent in the last quarter.

Akamai’s data is based on almost 700 million unique IP addresses connected to its monitoring platform, which can monitor connection speeds and security incidents.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

View Dan's Google+ profile

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