Japan, U.S., China are leading sources of Web attack traffic

Japan, the United States and China topped the list of countries
from which Internet attack traffic originates in a recent report by
Akamai Technologies Inc. The three countries accounted for more
than 60 percent of attack-oriented Internet traffic.

Akamai's second-quarter State of the Internet report found attack
traffic originating from 139 countries, up from 125 countries in
the first quarter of 2008.

Click for a chart of the leading sources ofInternet attack traffic

According to the report, 10 countries accounted for more than 75
percent of attack traffic on the Internet. Although that is
consistent with results in the first quarter of this year, there
were several relatively dramatic changes, most notably Japan's
increase from 3.56 percent earlier this year to more than 30
percent and the lead spot on the list. The United States recorded a
50 percent increase in attack traffic since the first quarter,
while China's rate dropped almost 50 percent. Taiwan stayed
in the top 10 but dropped from No. 3 to No. 7 and almost 12 percent
to 2.2 percent.

The Akamai study does not comment on whether such abrupt changes
are common from quarter to quarter or what might have caused

The company manages a global content delivery network that
interacts with service provider networks to deliver content faster
to users. Within that network, Akamai maintains a set of servers to
monitor and measure Internet traffic for statistical purposes.

The attack traffic that Akamai observed was directed at more
than 400 application ports. A port is a number that uniquely
identifies an application and is used by Transmission Control
Protocol or User Datagram Protocol in data transactions. Although
more than 400 ports were targeted, the 10 most popular accounted
for more than 85 percent of the attack traffic. Port 445, which
Microsoft's Directory Services tool uses for file sharing and other
applications, was the most heavily attacked port and a frequent
target of worms and viruses.

The study also evaluates global broadband adoption and other
Internet traffic trends. Analysts did not draw a correlation
between broadband penetration, access speeds and subsequent attack
traffic volume, although they acknowledged that countries with a
larger number of Internet users will naturally carry more attack
traffic due to the sheer volume of subscribers and traffic.

About the Author

Dan Campbell is a freelance writer with Government Computer News and the president of Millennia Systems Inc.


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