The Second Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report includes insights into attacks for which a group calling itself Syrian Electronic Army has claimed responsibilities, as well as observations on Akamai traffic activity due to Internet disruptions in Sudan and Syria. The report also reviews mobile browser usage by network type based on data from Akamai IO.
European Highlights from Akamais Second Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report:
- Average and Peak Connection Speeds:
impressive year-over-year gains observed in Europe
The global average connection speed increased in the second quarter of 2013, growing 5.2 percent quarter-over-quarter to 3.3 Mbps. Quarter-over-quarter growth was seen in nine of the top 10 countries/regions, with the largest increases being observed among European countries; the United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, France and Italy all demonstrated more than 10 percent growth in average connection speed quarter-over-quarter.
With a strong 9.1 percent increase over the prior quarter, Switzerland (ranked #3 globally) remained the European country with the highest average connection speed at 11 Mbps. This quarter the Netherlands (10.1 Mbps) joined Switzerland as the only other European country to achieve an average connection speed above the 10 Mbps high broadband threshold, thanks to a 6.2 percent quarter-over-quarter increase.
Examining year-over-year changes, the United Kingdom achieved the largest gain at 48 percent (to 8.4 Mbps) while Sweden followed close behind with 44 percent yearly growth (to 8.4 Mbps). Three additional countries achieved significant year-on-year increases in excess of 30 percent: Czech Republic (up 36 percent to 9.8 Mbps); Norway (up 34 percent to 7.4 Mbps); and Switzerland (up 31 percent). A further 11 countries grew more than 20 percent from the second quarter of 2012: Belgium and Ireland (up 29 percent); Austria (up 28 percent); the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Spain (up 27 percent); Finland (up 24 percent); Italy and France (up 23 percent); and Denmark (up 21 percent).
At 47.5 Mbps, Romanias second quarter average peak connection speed tops the European leader board, followed by Switzerland (41.4 Mbps), Belgium (39.9 Mbps), the Netherlands (38.8 Mbps) and the United Kingdom (37.1 Mbps). Year-over-year changes to European average peak connection speeds demonstrate further impressive increases: the United Kingdom achieved a 52 percent growth while another three countries grew by more than 40 percent over the same period (Norway, Sweden, and Austria). An additional 12 countries saw average peak speeds increase by 30 percent or more year-over-year.
Overall, the strong growth rates in average peak connection speeds point to ongoing improvements in the quality of Internet connectivity and the availability/affordability of high speed Internet services available within the European region.
More than 752 million unique IPv4 addresses from 242 countries/regions connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, an increase of 2 percent over the previous quarter and 13 percent over the second quarter of 2012. 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 one billion.
The global number of unique IP addresses seen by the Akamai Intelligent Platform grew by almost 19 million during the quarter; just over 75 percent of countries in the world had higher unique IP address counts compared to the second quarter of 2012.
Among European countries appearing in the top 10 countries listing, yearly growth ranged from 12 percent in Italy (ranked #9 globally) to 9.6 percent in the UK (ranked #6), 5.3 percent in Germany (ranked #4) and 3.8 percent in France (ranked #7).
The Second Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report notes some significant milestones and trends, including the fact that half of all connections to Akamai occurred at speeds of 4 Mbps or higher, a 25 percent increase since the first quarter of 2012, said David Belson, the reports editor. We also saw a decline in the number of countries/regions with average connection speeds of 1 Mbps or less down to 11 from 14 in the last quarter likely indicative of improved broadband connectivity across some of the slowest geographies. These positive trends bode well for the continued increase and adoption of broadband connectivity around the world.
Akamai maintains a distributed set of unadvertised agents deployed across the Internet that log connection attempts, which the company classifies as attack traffic. Based on data collected by these agents, Akamai is able to identify the top countries from which attack traffic originates as well as the top ports targeted by these attacks. It is important to note, however, that the originating country identified by the source IP address may not represent that nation in which the attacker resides. For example, an individual in the United States may be launching attacks from compromised systems anywhere in the world.
In the second quarter Indonesia pushed China out of the top spot, nearly doubling its first-quarter traffic from 21 percent to 38 percent. China moved to second position, originating 33 percent of all attack traffic observed while the United States remained in third position. Together, Indonesia and China originated more than half of the total observed attack traffic.
This quarter, Europe accounted for just over 10 percent of all observed attack traffic. This represents a fall of nearly 9 percentage points quarter-over-quarter.
For the first time since the inaugural State of the Internet Report (first quarter of 2008), Port 445 (Microsoft DS) was not the most targeted port for attacks, dropping to third place at 15 percent behind Port 443 (SSL [HTTPS]) at 17 percent and Port 80 (WWW [HTTP] at 24 percent.
In addition to observations on attack traffic, the State of the Internet Report includes insight into distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks based on reports from Akamai customers. In the second quarter of 2013, Akamai customers reported 318 attacks, a 54 percent increase over the 208 reported in the first quarter. At 134 reported attacks, the Enterprise sector continued to be the leading target of DDoS attacks, followed by Commerce (91), Media & Entertainment (53), High Tech (23) and Public Sector (17).
During the quarter, a group calling themselves the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) claimed responsibility for several attacks against news and media companies during the second quarter of 2013. The attacks all employed similar spear-fishing tactics in which internal email accounts were compromised and leveraged to collect credentials to gain access to targets Twitter feeds, RSS feeds and other sensitive information.
European high broadband (>10 Mbps) adoption continued apace in this quarter. Switzerland led the way with 37 percent of all connections at speed above 10 Mbps, followed by the Netherlands (31 percent) and Czech Republic (27 percent). Extremely strong year-over-year increases were observed in a number of European countries, with the United Kingdom up 200 percent and Ireland up 93 percent, while the Czech Republic, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Spain and France saw high broadband adoption rates increase by 70 percent or more from the second quarter of 2012.
During the second quarter of 2013, average connection speeds on surveyed mobile network operators ranged from a high of 9.7 Mbps to a low of 0.5 Mbps. Eleven operators demonstrated average connection speeds in the broadband (>4 Mbps) range and 62 operators showed average connection speeds above 1 Mbps. Data collected by Ericsson shows that the volume of mobile data traffic grew 14 percent during the quarter and nearly doubled year-over-year.
Based on data derived from Akamai IO for the second quarter of 2013, mobile devices on cellular networks using the Android Webkit accounted for slightly less than 38 percent of requests while Apple Mobile Safari saw nearly 34 percent of requests. In measuring mobile devices across all network types, Apple Mobile Safari accounted for just over 54 percent of usage while Android Webkit was responsible for 27.6 percent.
In Europe, a mobile operator from the Czech Republic led the way with the fastest average connection speed of 6.4 Mbps, while a Greek operator achieved the highest average peak connection speed of 54.9 Mbps.