Security & Privacy

Report: Internet Is Faster, More Susceptible to Attack

(Image via Shutterstock)

(Image via Shutterstock)

Internet speeds around the world are up, but so are cyber-attacks, says Akamai in its latest “State of the Internet” report. Released quarterly by the Massachusetts-based content delivery network Akamai Technologies, the report analyzes global statistics on key indicators of Internet connectivity. Findings from 2013’s third quarter disclosed some good news, showing upward trends in both global connection speeds and broadband adoption rates, but also warned of long-term growth in attack traffic—a majority of it coming from China, Indonesia, and the United States.

According to Akamai’s report, global Internet speeds, on average, increased 10 percent in the third quarter of 2013. Predictably, South Korea continues to lead the world with the fastest average connection speed at 22.1 megabits per second, a significant 8.8 mbps above second-place Japan. Hong Kong, though, boasts the world’s fastest peak connection speed at 65.4 mbps, followed by South Korea at 63.6 and Japan at 52.0. By contrast, the United States’ average connection speed comes in at 9.8 mbps, ranking No. 8 worldwide, while its peak connection speed fails to even crack the top 10, ranking No. 13 worldwide.

The report also found that despite Web attacks dropping from 318 in the second quarter to 281 in the third quarter, long-term attack traffic is on the rise. These attacks come in the form of distributed denial-of-service—or DDoS—hacks, whereby a single system uses multiple computers to overwhelm a website, making it inaccessible to the public. In 2012, Akamai observed 768 DDoS attacks. But in just the first three quarters of 2013, it has already counted 807 attacks, almost 40 more than in all of the preceding year.

In the third quarter of 2013, Asian IP addresses accounted for more than 60 percent of DDoS attacks worldwide, with 35 percent originating from China, 20 percent from Indonesia, and 5.2 percent from Taiwan. Meanwhile, the United States ranked third, responsible for 11 percent of attack traffic.

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