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DDoS Attacks Up in 2013
In addition to observations on attack traffic, the Akamai report includes insight into distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks based on reports from its 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 third quarter 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).
Akamai has also 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."
Wrapping Up The Report
Other revelations from the report include an 11 percent year-over-year increase in global Internet connectivity and a glimpse into IPv6 adoption. Akamai reports that European countries have taken a clear lead, with seven of the top 10 countries adopting the IPv6 standard.
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. Finally, 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. (continued...)