The Third Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report includes insights into the likelihood of repeat DDoS attacks against an individual target, the continued attack activity by a group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army, as well as observations on Akamai traffic activity related to Internet disruptions in Syria, Myanmar and Sudan. The report also reviews mobile browser usage by network type based on data from Akamai IO.
European Highlights from Akamais Third Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report:
Average and Average Peak Connection Speeds: impressive year-over-year gains observed in Europe
The global average connection speed continued its upward trend in the third quarter of 2013, climbing 10 percent over the previous quarter to 3.6 Mbps. In Europe, the Netherlands (ranked #4 globally) achieved the highest quarterly growth (up 23 percent) with an average connection speed of 12.5 Mbps.
Global average peak connection speeds showed a slight decline in the third quarter of 2013, dropping 5.2 percent to 17.9 Mbps. Of the European countries in the top 10 countries/region listing, the Netherlands (#9) achieved a 1.9 percent quarterly increase (to 39.6 percent Mbps), while Romania (#6), Latvia (#7) and Belgium (#10) experienced declines ranging from 3.3 percent (Latvia) to 4.4 percent (Romania).
An examination of yearly changes, however, reveals a number of European countries saw their average peak connection speed grow in excess of 20 percent or more compared to the third quarter of 2012. These include the Netherlands (up 29 percent to 39.6 Mbps), Czech Republic (up 28 percent to 34.8 Mbps), the United Kingdom (up 27 percent to 35.7 Mbps), Sweden (up 23 percent to 33.1 Mbps), Austria (up 23 percent to 30.4 Mbps), Romania (up 22 percent to 45.4 Mbps), Norway (up 22 percent to 28.2 Mbps) and Ireland (up 20 percent to 31.8 Mbps).
European High Broadband Connectivity: yearly growth in excess of 100 percent observed
European high broadband (>10 Mbps) adoption rates continued to grow during the third quarter of 2013. Of the European countries appearing in the global Top 10 country listing, the Netherlands (#3) experienced the largest quarter-on-quarter increase at 45 percent, followed by Denmark (38 percent), Belgium (36 percent), Czech Republic (31 percent), Switzerland (6.7 percent) and Latvia (3.7 percent).
Significant year over year increases were observed in a number of European countries, including Turkey (up 215 percent), France (up 188 percent), the United Kingdom (up 151 percent), Czech Republic (up 136 percent), Ireland (up 126 percent), Belgium (up 117 percent), the Netherlands (up 106 percent), Portugal and Germany (both up 104 percent).
In the third quarter of 2013, we observed that long-term growth in average and average peak connection speeds remained strong, as did growth in global broadband and high broadband adoption rates. We believe these trends point to continued improvement in the quality and performance of Internet connectivity in countries around the world, said David Belson, the reports editor.
Attack Traffic and Top Ports Attacked: Port 445 is most targeted port
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 the 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 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 anywhere in the world.
In the third quarter China, which originated 35 percent of observed attacks, returned to the top spot while Indonesia dropped back to second place, having originated 20 percent of observed attacks (slightly more than half of the volume seen in the second quarter). The United States remained in third position, originating 11 percent of observed attacks. During the quarter, Europes aggregate contribution increased, growing to 13.5 percent of all observed attacks.
After dropping to third place in the second quarter, Port 445 (Microsoft-DS) returned to its spot as the most targeted port in the third quarter, drawing 23 percent of observed attacks. Port 80 (WWW [HTTP]) and Port 443 (SSL [HTTPS]) dropped to second and third place at 14 and 13 percent, respectively. Port 445 was the most targeted port in eight of the top 10 countries/regions, the only exceptions being China and Indonesia. Port 1433 (Microsoft SQL Server) was the top target for China, and Port 443 was the most targeted from Indonesia.
Observations on DDoS Attacks: Reported DDoS attacks on European customers increase by 22 percent
In addition to observations on attack traffic, the State of the Internet Report includes insights into distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks based on reports from Akamai customers. For the first time since the fourth quarter of 2012, when Akamai began reporting on DDoS attacks, fewer attacks were reported than the previous quarter, with 281 observed in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 318 during the second quarter (down 11 percent). Overall, Akamai saw more attacks through the first three quarters of 2013 (807) than it did in all of 2012 (768). The Enterprise sector continued to be the leading target of DDoS attacks with 127 reported in the third quarter; Commerce was next with 80, followed by Media & Entertainment (42), Public Sector (18) and High Tech (14).
Analysis of the geographic distribution of DDoS attack targets shows that European customers experienced a 22 percent increase in attacks, compared to the previous quarter. By contrast, attacks on targets in North America were down by 18 percent this quarter.
Akamai has started to examine the likelihood that attack targets may be subject to follow-up attacks. Out of the 281 third-quarter attacks, 169 were focused on unique targets. During the quarter, 27 customers were attacked for a second time; five reported three attacks; and seven companies were attacked more than three times. Initial analysis of the data indicates that if a company is the target of a DDoS attack, there is a 25 percent chance that it could be attacked again within three months.
Although the number of DDoS attacks reported by Akamai customers in the third quarter declined from the previous quarter, we believe that 2013 will ultimately be a significantly more active year for DDoS attacks than 2012, Belson said. As of the end of the third quarter, customers had already reported more DDoS attacks than they did in all of 2012.
More than 760 million unique IPv4 addresses from 239 unique countries/regions connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform during the third quarter of 2013, a 1.1 percent increase over the second quarter and an 11 percent increase year over year. 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 IPv4 addresses seen by the Akamai Intelligent Platform worldwide rose by more than eight million over the quarter, with growth observed in six of the top 10 countries. Year over year, the number of global unique IPv4 addresses connecting to Akamai grew by more than 123 million, with nine of the top 10 countries/regions showing growth.
Among European countries appearing in the top 10 global countries list, the year on year growth in unique IPv4 addresses ranged from 10 percent in the United Kingdom (ranked #6 globally) to 0.7 percent in Germany (#4).
IPv6 Adoption: European countries lead the way
For the first time, the State of the Internet Report includes data leveraged directly from the Akamai Intelligent platform to provide insights into IPv6 adoption across numerous vectors. Europe has taken a clear lead in IPv6 adoption, with seven countries featuring in the global top 10 country listing. Conversely, only one country in Asia Pacific (Japan) is among the top 10.
Over the course of the third quarter of 2013, IPv6 traffic levels on the Akamai Intelligent Platform grew from just over 176,000 hits/second to more than 277,000 hits/second. IPv6 traffic continued to exhibit a cyclical weekly pattern, with volumes dipping each Saturday, likely indicating a greater level of IPv6 adoption across corporate/enterprise networks than consumer ISPs.
Akamai expects to include this information, as well as insight into IPv6 adoption trends over time, within the State of the Internet Report going forward.
Average connection speeds on surveyed mobile network operators during the third quarter of 2013 ranged from a high of 9.5 Mbps to a low of 0.6 Mbps, while average peak connection speeds ranged from 49.8 Mbps to 2.4 Mbps. Eighteen operators showed average connection speeds in the broadband (>4 Mbps) range. According to data collected by Ericsson, the volume of mobile traffic increased by approximately10 percent during the third quarter and grew by 80 percent year over year.
Analysis of Akamai IO data collected during the third quarter shows that Android Webkit-based browsers accounted for nearly 38 percent of all requests and Apple Mobile Safari slightly less than 24 percent. When accounting for mobile device usage across all networks (not just cellular), Apple Mobile Safari comprised just over 47 percent of requests and Android Webkit made up 33 percent of requests.
In Europe, a mobile operator from Russia led the way with the fastest average connection speed of 9.1 Mbps, followed by an operator in Ukraine (8.7 Mbps) and Austria (7.1 Mbps).
To complement the report, Akamais State of the Internet app was introduced today; a new app that brings the State of the Internet to users iPhones and iPads. The app provides easy access to interactive State of the Internet data such as unique IP addresses, attack volume, connection speeds and broadband adoption, along with current and past quarterly reports as well as related news. Akamais State of the Internet app is available now in the Apple App Store.