State of the Internet: Most attacks from China; S. Korea is fastest

The second quarter 2009 State of the Internet report from Akamai found an overall decrease in US connection speed.

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Akamai's second quarter 2009 State of the Internet report came out this week, presenting results the company has culled from its vast global network of servers.

The headlines:

China was again the top originator of Internet attacks, responsible for 31.35 percent of them, with the US and South Korea rounding out the top-three with 14.63 and 6.83 percent, respectively (see chart at right).

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Craving speed? South Korea moved into the top spot worldwide with an average connection speed of 11 mbps, meaning the whole country averages speeds almost on par with Comcast's standard 12 mbps cable broadband. The average US speed? 4.2 mbps.

That's down 8.4 percent over the previous quarter. Though no clear answer arose for the US drop, Akamai noted Leichtman Research Group found that "net broadband subscriber additions in the second quarter across the nineteen largest cable and telephone providers in the United States were the lowest in eight years." Are Americans cutting back on high-speed Web access as purse strings are tightened?

Also – hackers are a wily bunch. The second quarter of 2009 saw the rise of the Conficker worm and a so-called Facebook virus. But a previous Akamai finding – that the most attack traffic came on days when Microsoft issues security patches – didn't prove as reliable this quarter.

In examining a quarter-long view of attack traffic during the prior two quarters, Akamai found that peaks in attack traffic volume were roughly coincidental with the publication of Microsoft Security Bulletins for those months, potentially indicating that attackers attempting to exploit the critical vulnerabilities described in those bulletins ahead of the patch release. However, in looking at overall global daily attack traffic patterns for the second quarter, we found that the monthly peaks were not as clearly coincidental.

The full Akamai report, which goes into IPv6 adoption, Wimax, and new undersea cables is available here.

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