Akamai Technologies, the leading provider of cloud services for delivering, optimising and securing online content and business applications, has released its Third Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report. Based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform TM, the report provides insight into key global statistics such as network connectivity and connection speeds, attack traffic, and broadband adoption and availability, among many others.
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.
Highlights from Akamai’s Third Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report:
Global Average and Average Peak Connection Speeds
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. A total of 122 countries/regions that qualified for inclusion saw average connection speeds increase during the third quarter, with growth ranging from 0.5 percent in Namibia (to 1.1 Mbps) to a 76 percent increase in Nepal (to 3.6 Mbps).
Average connection speeds saw a 29 percent year over year increase, with all of the top 10 countries/regions climbing 27 percent or more. Globally, 133 qualifying countries/regions saw year-over-year increases in average connection speeds, from 0.2 percent in Egypt (to 1.2 Mbps) to 259 percent in Réunion (to 6.8 Mbps).
Global average peak connection speeds showed a slight decline in the third quarter of 2013, dropping 5.2 percent to 17.9 Mbps. Seven of the top 10 countries/regions saw increases in average peak connection speeds during the quarter, ranging from 0.5 percent in Hong Kong (to 65.4 Mbps) to 19 percent in South Korea (to 63.6 Mbps). Meanwhile, Romania, Latvia and Belgium saw declines of 4.4, 3.3 and 3.6 percent to 45.4, 43.1 and 38.5 Mbps, respectively.
Year over year, the global average peak connection speed grew 13 percent over the third quarter of 2012. Yearly increases among the top 10 countries/regions ranged from 15 percent in Latvia to 63 percent in Singapore. World-wide, 115 qualifying countries/regions showed yearly growth in average connection speeds, with increases ranging from 0.3 percent in South Africa (to 11.9 Mbps) to 111 percent in Palestine (to 19.9 Mbps).
Global high broadband (>10 Mbps) adoption rose 31 percent quarter over quarter to reach 19 percent. Global broadband (>4 Mbps) adoption improved 5.8 percent over the quarter to reach 53 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,” says David Belson, the Report’s Editor.
Attack Traffic and Security
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.
Akamai observed attack traffic originating from 185 unique countries/regions during the third quarter of 2013, up 10 over the previous quarter. China, which originated 35 percent of observed attacks, returned to the top spot this quarter after having been unseated by Indonesia in the second quarter. Indonesia, meanwhile, dropped back to second place after originating 20 percent of observed attacks – slightly more than half of the volume seen in the second quarter. The United States remained in third place as it originated 11 percent of observed attacks during the third quarter, up from 6.9 percent in the previous quarter.
Overall, the concentration of attacks declined during the third quarter of 2013, with the top 10 countries originating 83 percent of observed attacks, compared to 89 percent in the second quarter. China and Indonesia, however, continued to originate more than half of all observed attack traffic.
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.
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. 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.”
Global Internet Penetration
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 number of unique IPv4 address 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.
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. European countries have taken a clear lead in IPv6 adoption, with seven of the top 10 countries. 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.
To complement the report, Akamai’s state of the Internet app has also been introducted; 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. Akamai’s State of the Internet app is available now in the Apple App Store.