The new cyber-attack capital of the world is Indonesia, which has pushed China out of the top spot this quarter, nearly doubling its first-quarter traffic from 21 percent to 38 percent. China moved to second at 33 percent, down from 34 percent. The United States remained in third place even after dropping to 6.9 percent in the second quarter from 8.3 percent in the first quarter, according to a report from Akamai Technologies.
Akamai is offering insights into cyber attacks with a special focus on the hactivist group that calls itself Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). Akamai is also offering stats on traffic activity due to Internet disruptions in Sudan and Syria, in its Second Quarter 2013, State of the Internet report.
Akamai is well positioned to offer the insights, given it maintains a distributed set of unadvertised agents deployed across the Internet that log connection attempts the company classifies as attack traffic. Based on the data collected by these agents, Akamai can identify the top countries from which attack traffic originates and the top ports these attacks targeted.
The top 10 countries or regions generated 89 percent of observed attacks, up from 82 percent in the previous quarter. Like the first quarter, Indonesia and China again originated more than half of the total observed attack traffic. In the second quarter, Akamai observed attack traffic originating from 175 unique countries and regions, two fewer than it observed in the first quarter of 2013.
Port 80 Most Attacked
For the first time since the inaugural State of the Internet Report in 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. Ninety percent of attacks targeting Ports 80 and 443 originated from Indonesia, up from 80 percent last quarter. The majority of attacks targeting Ports 80 and 443 originated from Indonesia, up to 90 percent from last quarter's 80 percent.
"The most interesting part in this report is the attack traffic pie chart," Tommy Chin, technical support engineer, CORE Security, told us. "According to this information, Web servers running on port 80 and 443 are the most targeted service. This should be generally accurate going forward since the Web is basically the most used service on the Internet. However, the delta in percentage from Q1 to Q2 is a 10% increase which indicates that the attack traffic trend targeting Web servers will increase the most over time for Web technologies."
The State of the Internet Report also 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 sector continued to be the leading target of DDoS attacks, followed by commerce (91), media and entertainment (53), high-tech (23) and the public sector (17).
The SEA claimed responsibility for several attacks against news and media companies during the second quarter of 2013. The attacks all employed similar spear-phishing tactics in which internal e-mail accounts were compromised and leveraged to collect credentials to gain access to targets' Twitter feeds, RSS feeds and other sensitive information.
Global Internet Penetration
Beyond attack stats, Akamai also shared global Internet penetration data. More than 752 million unique IPv4 addresses from 242 unique countries and regions connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, a 2 percent quarter-over-quarter increase and 13 percent more than 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 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 report's 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."