Akamai: Most Internet attacks in Q4 originated in China

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A majority of the Internet attack traffic in 2014's fourth quarter originated in China, followed by the U.S., according to cloud service provider Akamai.

China and the U.S. were the only countries where more than 10% of attack traffic originated, Akamai said in its quarterly state of the Internet report. The other top 10 nations each had less than 5% of the world's attack traffic. Taiwan, for instance, came in third with 4.4% of the traffic.

Still, the attack traffic coming from China was down compared to the third quarter, falling to 41% from 49%. Attack traffic coming from the U.S. also fell, decreasing to 13% from 17%.

Akamai monitors attacks aimed at its customers, which include Yahoo, IBM, NBC Sports and ESPN.

The number of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks in the quarter was up more than 20% sequentially. Akamai counted 327 attacks compared to 270 attacks in the third quarter. The overall number of DDoS attacks for 2014 was 1,150, almost the same as in 2013, when there were 1,153.

Of the five sectors Akamai monitors, all but one saw an increase in the number of DDoS attacks: the enterprise sector, which saw a decrease in attacks to 100 from 106. The public sector saw the greatest increase in attacks, suffering 38 in the fourth quarter, up from 22 in the previous quarter. The other sectors Akamai monitors are commerce (88 attacks), media and entertainment (51 attacks) and high tech (50 attacks).

A majority of the DDoS attacks in the fourth quarter were aimed at the Americas, which was targeted 177 times. The Asia-Pacific region was targeted 98 times, followed by the Europe, the Middle East and Africa with 52 attacks.

The report covered a range of topics, including Internet connection speeds. The global average connection speed for the fourth quarter was 4.5M bps, increasing by only 0.7% from the previous quarter. The three countries with the fastest connections were in Asia: South Korea (22.2M bps), Hong Kong (16.8M bps) and Japan (15.2M bps). The remaining countries with the fastest connections were all in Europe.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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