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Akamai Releases Third Quarter 2012 'State of the Internet' Report

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 

  • More than 680 million unique IP addresses connected to Akamai Intelligent Platform
  • Observed attack traffic originated from more than 180 countries or regions
  • Observed Distributed Denial of Service attacks against banking industry reached total traffic levels of 65 Gbps
  • High broadband (>10 Mbps) adoption reached 11 percent and broadband (>4 Mbps) adoption reached 41 percent globally

Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading cloud platform for helping enterprises provide secure, high-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere, today released its Third Quarter, 2012 State of the Internet report.  Based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform™, the report provides insight into key global statistics including connection speeds, attack traffic, and network connectivity and availability, among many others.

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In addition, the Third Quarter, 2012 State of the Internet report includes an analysis of the Operation Ababil DDoS attacks against the banking industry in the United States and an examination of mobile browser usage by network connection type collected via Akamai IO. Further, the report provides a review of third quarter Internet disruptions in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria based on Akamai traffic patterns observed within those countries.

Highlights from Akamai's third quarter, 2012 report:

Global Internet Penetration
More than 680 million IPv4 addresses from 243 countries/regions connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform during the third quarter of 2012. The figure represents 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.

For the second quarter in a row, Brazil experienced the greatest year-over-year growth (39 percent) within the group of top 10 countries with the most unique IPv4 addresses connecting to the Akamai Intelligent Platform. In the same top 10 group, China (5.7 percent) showed the largest quarter-over-quarter increase.

Analysis of the full set of countries that connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform in the third quarter showed that nearly 60 percent saw a quarterly increase and almost 12 percent saw increases of 10 percent or more.

Attack Traffic and Top Ports Attacked
Akamai maintains a distributed set of agents deployed across the Internet that monitors attack traffic. Based on 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.

Akamai observed attack traffic from 180 unique countries/regions during the third quarter of 2012, down from 188 in the second quarter. China maintained its position as the single largest volume source of observed traffic at 33 percent. The United States, at number two, experienced a slight increase in originated attack traffic with 13 percent. Russia replaced Turkey in the number three spot by generating 4.7 percent.

During the quarter, the top 10 countries/regions were responsible for generating 72 percent of the observed attack traffic. Within the top 10, slightly more than 50 percent of attack traffic was generated by three countries: China, the United States and Russia.

Receiving 30 percent of observed attack traffic, Port 445 (Microsoft-DS) remained the most targeted port. Port 23 (Telnet) was a distant second at only 7.6 percent.

Operation Ababil
Akamai was involved in protecting some of the organizations targeted by a series of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks known as "Operation Ababil" that occurred in September 2012. As a result, Akamai observed attacks with the following characteristics:

  • Up to 65 gigabits per second (Gbps) of total attack traffic that varied in target and technique
  • A significant portion (nearly 23 Gbps) of the attack traffic was aimed at the Domain Name System (DNS) servers that are used for Akamai's Enhanced DNS services
  • Attack traffic to Akamai's DNS infrastructure included both UDP and TCP traffic which attempted to overload the servers, and the network in front of them, with spurious requests
  • The majority of the attack traffic requested legitimate Web pages from Akamai customer sites over HTTP & HTTPS in an attempt to overload the Web servers
  • Some attack traffic consisted of 'junk' packets that were automatically dropped by Akamai servers
  • Some attack traffic consisted of HTTP request floods to dynamic portions of sites such as branch/ATM locators and search pages

Global Average and Peak Connection Speeds
The global average connection speed decreased by approximately seven percent between the second and third quarters of 2012 to 2.8 Mbps. South Korea continued to have the highest average connection speed at 14.7 Mbps. Japan (10.7 Mbps) and Hong Kong (8.9 Mbps) rounded out the top three countries for average connection speed in the quarter.

Despite the slight quarter-over-quarter decline, global average connection speed enjoyed healthy 11 percent growth year over year.

Similar to the average connection speed metric, the global average peak connection speed also saw a minor quarter-over-quarter decline, dropping 1.4 percent to 15.9 Mbps. In the third quarter of 2012, Hong Kong boasted the highest peak connection speed at just more than 54 Mbps.

Looking at year-over-year changes, significant improvement was once again seen in the global average peak connection speed, growing 36 percent.

Akamai observed global broadband (>4 Mbps) and high broadband (>10 Mbps) adoption showing solid gains in the quarter. The global high broadband adoption rate grew by 8.8 percent quarter over quarter, reaching 11 percent, while the global broadband adoption rate increased 4.8 percent, growing to 41 percent.

Mobile Connectivity
In the third quarter of 2012, average connection speeds on surveyed mobile network providers ranged from a high of 7.8 Mbps to a low of 324 kbps. Seven providers showed average connection speeds in the "broadband" (>4 Mbps) range.  An additional 68 mobile providers had average connection speeds greater than 1 Mbps. Average peak connection speeds for the quarter ranged from 39.2 Mbps down to 2.8 Mbps. Based on data collected by Ericsson, the volume of mobile data traffic doubled from the third quarter of 2011 to the third quarter of 2012, and grew 16 percent between the second and third quarter of 2012.

Analysis of Akamai IO data collected in the third quarter indicates that for users of mobile devices on cellular networks connecting to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, the largest percentage of requests (37.6 percent) came from devices using the Android Webkit. Devices using Apple's Mobile Safari were a close second (35.7 percent). However, for users of mobile devices across all network types, Apple's Mobile Safari accounted for 60.1 percent of requests, with the Android Webkit responsible for 23.1 percent.

About the Akamai State of the Internet report
Each quarter, Akamai publishes a "State of the Internet" report.  This 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.  To learn more and to access the archive of past reports, please visit

To download the figures from the Third Quarter, 2012 State of the Internet report, please visit

About Akamai
Akamai® is the leading cloud platform for helping enterprises provide secure, high-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere. At the core of the Company's solutions is the Akamai Intelligent Platform™ providing extensive reach, coupled with unmatched reliability, security, visibility and expertise. Akamai removes the complexities of connecting the increasingly mobile world, supporting 24/7 consumer demand, and enabling enterprises to securely leverage the cloud. To learn more about how Akamai is accelerating the pace of innovation in a hyperconnected world, please visit or, and follow @Akamai on Twitter.


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SOURCE Akamai Technologies, Inc.

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