Report Says More Hackers Target Commerce and Enterprise Firms
It's probably no surprise -- after a year in which Sony Pictures, JP Morgan Chase and eBay were hacked -- that the majority of cyberattacks in the last quarter targeted firms in the commerce and enterprise sectors, according to Akamai’s latest "State of the Internet" report.
The quarterly report includes data gathered from across the Akamai Intelligent Platform about attack traffic, broadband adoption, mobile connectivity and other relevant topics concerning the Internet and its usage, as well as trends seen in this data over time.
There were increases in the number of attacks in all the sectors in the fourth quarter, except for the enterprise sector, according to the report, released Wednesday. Akamai customers reported a total of 327 cyberattacks during the three-month period, an increase of more than 20 percent.
More Attacks in High Tech, Public Sectors
Although the commerce and enterprise segments were the biggest targets for denial of service attacks, the enterprise sector actually experienced a slight decrease in the number of attacks during the period. The sectors that experienced the most growth in the number of attacks were the high tech and public sectors.
Meanwhile, the Americas also saw the largest growth in number of attacks by region, some 35 percent more than the previous quarter. China continued to be the country from which the most attacks originated. According to the report, 41 percent of the reported attacks were launched from China. The second largest number of reported attacks originated from the U.S., representing 13 percent of the observed attacks, down about 20 percent from the previous quarter.
With regard to the type of attacks being executed, those targeting Port 23 grew the fastest last quarter, more than two and a half times previous levels. All told, attacks targeting Port 23, which is used by Telnet, represented 32 percent of all attacks in the fourth quarter.
That may indicate a growth in attacks relying on brute-force login attempts or those that exploit default usernames and passwords to gain access to vulnerable systems, according to Akamai. Port 23 can be scanned by bots searching for systems with open Telnet ports, which then attempt to log in when they find any.
U.S. Still Lags in Connection Speed
The U.S. came in sixteenth place among all countries for average connection speed at 11.1 Mbps for the quarter, a 15 percent improvement on the year but a 3.7 percent decrease from the third quarter. Those numbers put the U.S. well above the global average of 4.5 Mbps, but still left the U.S. behind world leaders in Internet connection speeds, with countries such as South Korea averaging rates of 22.2 Mbps for the fourth quarter.
However, the average belies the significant variability in connection speeds from state to state. Internet users in Virginia, for example, experienced the highest average connection rates at 17.7 Mbps, while Alaska, in last place, clocked in with average Internet speeds of only 7.4 Mbps.
The U.S. also saw strong growth in the adoption of the IPv6 protocol, with Internet service providers such as T-Mobile and Comcast leading the way. Nevertheless, the U.S. came in third in the percentage of IPv6 content requests in the report, behind both Belgium and Germany, which came in first.
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