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June 2015 Archives

In April of this year, we got the official word -- the average webpage now exceeds 2MB in size. If it seems like page size is increasing at an incredible rate...you aren't imagining things.  In July of last year, the average page size had just exceeded 1.5 MB for the top 1,000 websites. 

Internet Disruptions in Q1 2015

First Quarter, 2015 Internet Disruptions

Internet disruptions are still a frustrating reality in many regions across the globe. The most common types of disruptions generally fall into three categories: accidental (backhoes or ship anchors severing buried fiber), natural (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.), or political (shut down by a government in response to protest). As a provider of customer content across the globe, Akamai is in a unique position to monitor traffic levels to each country/region. The following events are highlights of global disruptions that impacted Akamai traffic in specific countries during the first quarter of 2015.

Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at Akamai

Hi. I'm Kate Jenkins, Principal Architect in Akamai's Platform Mapping Engineering group. I'm blogging here (for the first time!) because I wanted to let you know how pleased and excited we are to be hosting a 7 week Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program here at Akamai this summer, starting July 6th in Cambridge, MA. Girls Who Code is a fantastic national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Founded in 2012 in New York, they have expanded to 60 programs in 9 cities across the US this year.

If you are a long-time reader of the State of the Internet Report, you are like familiar with the terms “Broadband”, “High Broadband”, and “4K Ready” as they have historically been used in the report. (For specific definitions, see the blog post at http://akamai.me/sotimetrics) When you read the First Quarter, 2015 State of the Internet Report, you’ll see that we’ve phased out the usage of these terms in favor of speed-specific references.

Last month I spoke at the Conversion Conference, and after my talk I met a developer who had been tasked with single-handedly making her company's site faster. We talked for quite a while, and she expressed good-humored frustration at the vagueness of this directive.

Global Connectivity in Q4 2014

Global connectivity demonstrated continued positive annual growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, as shown by Akamai's Internet connectivity metrics. These metrics include average connection speed, average peak connection speed, broadband adoption, high broadband adoption, and 4K readiness. For additional insight into the various metrics covered within the report, refer to the State of the Internet Metrics: What Do They Mean? blog post.

New Best Practice: Ingress Filtering to Deter DNS DDoS

DNS DDoS continues on the trend line established in 2014 - with tens of billions of malicious queries Internet-wide every day. Many of the domains attacked are lightly trafficked, but popular (Alexa 5000) domains are commonly targeted. For example, alternative news sites, a university, and e-commerce sites have been attacked in the past couple of months. Attacks on popular domains require extra care when mitigating to avoid blocking legitimate queries.

Recently, I had the privilege to present scholarships to the three highest scorers in the USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) on behalf of the Akamai Foundation. The Akamai Foundation is a proud supporter of the Mathematical Association of America, which includes the USAMO and the European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad. This year, for the first time, there were two young women in the top twelve Math Olympians in the United States. Yea!

Nominum, now part of Akamai, Research shows about 15% of DNS DDoS traffic is amplification yet it still has an impact (the rest are random subdomains). Data also shows bad guys continue to leverage open DNS resolvers which after more than 2 years might be considered an "old-days" technique, yet there are still around 17 million of them on the Internet. More recently our research teams have seen bots sending amplification queries.

As we all know, on April 25, there was a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal that, along with powerful aftershocks, devastated the region. Nearly 9,000 people were killed, tens of thousands were injured and as many as 8 million people were affected--a third of the country's population.

After the quake struck, many Akamai colleagues sprung into action, donating funds to relief organizations, which Akamai matched, and joining volunteer or philanthropic efforts of all sorts. One Akamai employee showed extraordinary commitment to helping the victims of the quake. Sunil Khandelwal, a Professional Services solutions architect in Akamai's Tokyo office, dedicated four weeks of his time to volunteer as part of a disaster relief team on the ground in Nepal.

Americas Connectivity in Q4 2014

The Americas region showed extremely positive year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, as shown by Akamai's Internet connectivity metrics. These metrics include average connection speed, average peak connection speed, broadband adoption, high broadband adoption, and 4K readiness. For additional insight into the various metrics covered within the report, refer to the State of the Internet Metrics: What Do They Mean? blog post.
Akamai is aware of a recently disclosed vulnerability in OpenSSL that can be exploited to perform denial of service attacks against any system which processes public keys, certificate requests, or certificates.

The announcement for CVE-2015-1788 (discovered by Joseph Barr-Pixton and fixed by Andy Polyakov of the OpenSSL development team) and CVE-2015-1789 (discovered independently by Robert Swiecki and Hanno Böck) can be found here. The fix was developed by Emilia Käsper of the OpenSSL development team.

EMEA Connectivity in Q4 2014

The EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region showed strong, positive year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, as shown by the connectivity metrics published in Akamai's State of the Internet Report. Nearly every country in the region showed positive gains, often led by Turkey's substantial annual growth across a variety of metrics. These metrics include average connection speed, average peak connection speed, broadband adoption, high broadband adoption, and 4K readiness. For additional insight into the various metrics covered within the report, refer to the State of the Internet Metrics: What Do They Mean? blog post.
It is now three years since World IPv6 Launch, and solid growth in global IPv6 adoption continues at a steady pace.

With over 17% of the country's end-users actively using IPv6, the United States continues to be a dominant force in IPv6 traffic levels and adoption, with the top three U.S. broadband operators and all four of the top U.S. mobile operators actively rolling out IPv6 to their end-users. Other countries including Germany, Belgium, Japan, and Peru continue to have solid IPv6 traffic growth, and network operators in additional countries including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Estonia, and Greece have started large-scale IPv6 deployments to end-users.

In the past year, we've also started to see announcements of companies moving beyond just dual-stack, with IPv6-only solutions being used to solve real-world problems by companies such as Facebook, Comcast, and T-Mobile US.

The North America Internet registry (ARIN) is also almost certain to exhaust their supply of freely available IPv4 addresses sometime in the coming months (or weeks!).

Akamai has also seen continued progress in our customers dual-stacking their Web sites and applications (to be directly accessible over both IPv4 and IPv6). Akamai now servers deployed with working IPv6 connectivity in 95 countries around the globe in over 1,500 locations and connected to 590 different network providers.

Taken all together, it is well past time to start actively deploying IPv6 for your content and your end-users.

Situational Performance in Q4 2014

In June 2013, Akamai announced the latest release of Ion. Ion is designed to meet the unique challenges of optimizing the desktop and mobile Web experience. One feature of Ion is a capability known as Real User Monitoring (RUM). RUM takes performance measurements from real Web users to provide developers with insights into performance across a multitude of devices and networks. Ideally, RUM is used in tandem with synthetic testing to generate a comprehensive picture of a user's Web experience to help developers best calibrate their applications.

In Akamai's most recent SOTI (State of the Internet) Security Report (Download the Q1 2015 report here), two areas of research focused on the most frequent attack types by target industry, and DDoS attack distribution between Q1 2014 and the same period a year later.


Since the report's release, we've delved deeper into the data and came up with two charts showing a more granular view based on Fig. 1-4 and 1-7 within that report.

Akamai Connect At Cisco Live San Diego

As we get ready to converge on San Diego to soak up all things Cisco we should remember why a lot of us are there in the first place - to understand how to deliver high quality experiences for users of our IT services. If we don't offer IT services to our constituents that they value, they now have a choice to go elsewhere.

Asia Pacific Connectivity in Q4 2014

The Asia Pacific region showed very positive year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, as shown by the connectivity metrics published in Akamai's State of the Internet Report. With the exception of China, nearly every surveyed country showed positive growth rates across every metric. These metrics include average connection speed, average peak connection speed, broadband adoption, high broadband adoption, and 4K readiness. For additional insight into the various metrics covered within the report, refer to the State of the Internet Metrics: What Do They Mean? blog post.
The Gartner Enterprise Architect Summit is almost here. As architects plan their trip to Texas--where they'll gain new insights on emerging technologies and how to best meet business objectives--one of the key themes of this year's event will include how to architect in the era of the digital enterprise. Enterprises are no longer a collection of employees working from their stationary desktop computers behind a firewall. Instead, enterprises are mobile and global workforces that must consider how to include the Internet and the public cloud as an extension of their network. Below, we'll discuss a few key areas of focus for architects to consider when architecting for the digital enterprise.

By Richard Willey, Senior Program Manager - Adversarial Resilience


Akamai maintains a database that records information about different attacks it has observed.  The ongoing analysis of that database is captured each quarter in Akamai's State of the Internet Security Report. (Download the Q1 2015 report here.) But even after a report is released, researchers continue to dig deeper into the data and provide updates.


To that end, this article describes an exploratory data analysis exercise of attacks captured by PLX Routed and Proxy DDoS solution scrubbing centers between Q1 2013 and Q1 2015.


Akamai, Trustwave Form Strategic Alliance


Akamai has announced a new strategic alliance with Trustwave, designed to help businesses more effectively fight myriad threats through vulnerability assessment, denial-of-service prevention and incident response.
 
From the press release:

"Through this partnership, Akamai and Trustwave plan to make available to their respective customers select technology solutions and security services from each company's portfolio. The strategic relationship is intended to allow both companies to provide a broader set of cyber security protections to meet a wide range of customer requirements in a constantly changing cyber security threat landscape."

In a new bulletin released this morning, Akamai researchers outlined a threat in which malicious actors use vulnerabilities in third-party plug-ins to target the large websites that utilize them. Such exploits require little technical skill and are highly effective.

Instead of targeting a high-traffic website directly, attackers simply target the third-party advertising company, content network or provider used by the site.

High-profile sites are common targets and their security posture is tougher than the average site. But they also use third-party content providers whose security is less than ideal. Those who manage a major website put a lot of effort into fortifying the front entrance. But the third-party content they use are like open windows in the back of the building.

Akamai CSIRT Manager Mike Kun described the problem in this podcast recently.