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April 2016 Archives

Performance matters. A tale of video games

I'm the center of the universe. Aren't you?

Most people who works on games have a self-centered view. The lead artist figures the player cares the most about character designs and expansive vistas. The composer knows that players are moved first and foremost by the swell of the opening music. The multiplayer designer is certain that players couldn't care less about campaigns, and only notice well-balanced PvP.

This blog post is part of an ongoing series where we will discuss a wide range of H2-related topics.

In today's post, the first of a two-part "series within a series", we will discuss the challenges and importance of prioritization of streams in leveraging HTTP/2 to achieve performance improvement.

Community, Convenience, and the Claviger

One of the most common complaints on the Akamai Community is from people who are browsing the web from IP addresses that Akamai has seen performing malicious activity.  Depending on the severity and number of these malicious activities, Akamai assigns the IP address a rating that predicts the likelihood that the IP will perform a malicious act in the future.   These ratings come from our Client Reputation module, a module that is sold to Akamai Kona Site Defender Customers.

Are you ready for HTTP/2 Server Push?!

Update: As of February 2017, the latest version of Akamai Ion has introduced an even more powerful capability designed to help customers leverage the server push feature of H/2. Called "Automatic Server Push", and introduced as part of the new set of capabilities known as Adaptive Acceleration, this fully productized feature allows customers to turn on server push capabilities with the simple flick of a configuration switch. Using data from real users, Akamai's Intelligent Platform is able to determine which resources are common across user sessions, and automatically push those resources down to the browser ahead of the user request, resulting in faster time to first byte (TTFB). The specific implementation of server push described in this blog remains in beta, and was a preliminary step towards Akamai building a more intelligent and easier to use automatic server push capability that we continue to refine and build on.

To learn more about Adaptive Acceleration, and the steps for Ion customers to turn on the Automatic Server Push feature, head over to the Web Performance Community.

This blog post is part of an ongoing series where we will discuss a wide range of H2-related topics. In today's post we will discuss an exciting component of the new HTTP/2 protocol - server push.

At Akamai, we are always seeking ways to push the envelope when it comes to adopting new technology and making it readily available for our customers, which is why we were the first CDN to support HTTP/2 on our platform. In our effort to continue to embrace HTTP/2, we are excited to announce the beta for HTTP/2 Server Push capability.

Akamai's next "Girls Who Code" summer immersion program is still a couple of months away, but in the meantime I wanted to tell you about our involvement with another fantastic organization inspiring girls to pursue tech careers - the Girl Scouts.

#OpKillingBay Expands Attacks

By Bill Brenner, Akamai SIRT Senior Tech Writer

Operation Killing Bay, better known as #OpKillingBay on social media sites, is expanding. Historically, malicious attackers participating in OpKillingBay have targeted Japanese government websites and sites of companies participating in whale and dolphin hunting. These attackers often see themselves as protesters or activists, in addition to hackers and refer to themselves as "hacktivists."

On February 29th, marine cable cuts in and around Singapore caused significant connectivity issues that now, over a month later, have not been entirely resolved. * This has caused problems for many online businesses that operate in and around the Pacific Rim; however, Akamai customers have had a different experience than everyone else.

If you've ever visited the Akamai Network Operations Command Centers (NOCC) or Security Operations Control Centers (SOCC), you're familiar with Akamai's expansive state-of-the-art nerve centers of data collection.  Every second of every day, the Akamai NOCCs and SOCCs provide customers with a broad breadth of insight into global network conditions and threatening activity, wherever the activity may be occurring.

HTTP/2 Turns One: Farewell to SPDY

Akamai was the first CDN to support HTTP/2. This blog post is part of an ongoing series where we will discuss a wide range of H2-related topics. In today's post, we are boding a fond farewell to SPDY.

What Does it Mean to Wait for a Game?

It was 11:30pm, and I was standing in a parking lot. The sky was oddly clear for the Pacific Northwest, but the temperature had dropped below 50 degrees, and you could see mist rising from each person as they spoke. Most of us wore branded sweatshirts which weren't really designed to keep you warm, but we were caught up in the energy of the night.

Each year since 2011 the Federal Reserve has conducted a "Consumers and Mobile Financial Services" survey of over 2,000 US adults on their use of mobile banking.  The study focuses on the consumer trends and the use of mobile devices to access financial and banking services, and to help make financial decisions.

How Has Let's Encrypt Impacted Web Security?

When Let's Encrypt was founded at the end of 2014 it had a lofty goal: promote the use of TLS everywhere by making certificates free and server configuration painless.  It was noted that for many web administrators, for both large and small sites, TLS was seen as expensive, difficult to configure, and slow.  With that headwind, the return on investment was seen as too low to bother unless you were handling financial or other sensitive information.  As it does, web security quickly evolved in the ensuing years.  Firesheep, Snowden, and Google page ranking: these are just a few things that have changed how people think about the importance of encrypting everything online.  And services like Let's Encrypt and Akamai deal with the problems head on, reducing the pain of Internet security tremendously.

Sports, OTT and the future of live streaming

News broke last week that Twitter had scored the rights to stream 10 NFL games for a reported $10M total. While some are questioning the economics of the deal, it was clear that live streaming of major league sports is a growing opportunity.

Akamai is First to Bring Live 4K to Consumers

While there have been many OTT 4K-related announcements leading up to next week's NAB Show, Akamai has already evolved the live/linear 4K workflow from controlled demonstrations to real-world, public, consumer distribution. In fact, live 4K has the potential to reach the market more quickly online as opposed to traditional methods like satellite, IPTV or cable. That's a pretty big deal.

Solutions Architects on the Performance Specialist Team at Akamai closely work on performance analytics, we do a lot of value confirmations for our customers we show how Akamai Web Performance Solutions benefit our customer's websites. As part of our job, we get a lot of requests from customers who want to compare how Akamai stacks up against their current content delivery network (CDN) infrastructure as well as that of other vendors.

HTTP/2 is here; come and get it!

Since showcasing a production demonstration of HTTP/2 at Velocity in 2014 and announcing broad support in 2015, Akamai has been actively working with hundreds of customers to deliver HTTP/2-enabled websites.

Powers of persuasion

For at least two decades I thought the key to winning people over was to talk persuasively. Use a firm, but cool voice, highlight supporting facts, prepare for objections. Very recently I've started to understand what my longtime friend Chris Paladino had been trying to tell me, though never in direct terms.

22 mobile stats everyone should know

One year ago, Google announced that it was expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. Last month, it announced that, beginning in May, it would be rolling out new changes that "increase the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly".

Half-baked Patching: More Common Than You Think

In the last year or so I've been looking at Wordpress plugins. I've seen some poorly written code, plugins that had little purpose (one plugin's stated purpose was to only download a copy of itself!) and patches that attempted to fix a problem but weren't thorough enough or didn't follow the official Wordpress recommendations and codex.

Bad code can not only be a threat to the system it's hosted on and the users that use it, but the Internet community as a whole. On Dec. 12, 2015 a zero-day exploit was uploaded to 0day.today by sniper.t. The uploaded text was simply a proof of concept to remotely download /etc/passwd. The exploit abused the plugin author's lack of authentication and file type verification to steal arbitrary files from a victim's server.

The Recipe for SaaS Success Part 2: MINDBODY

In my previous post, I discussed roadblocks to successful SaaS application delivery and IDC's recommendation that most providers partner or buy, rather than build, infrastructure and monitoring cloud services. Now I want to delve into what that process looks like and the business benefits providers can see using MINDBODY, which has perfected their own personal recipe for SaaS success.

Bringing OTT Video to Life at NAB

We are less than a month away from NAB and Akamai has some big plans in store. With the amount of buzz centered around over-the-top (OTT) video, our floor presence is dedicated to bringing OTT workflow and delivery to life. Show attendees can experience a behind-the-scenes look at the technologies that are helping drive the seismic transformation in media delivery and consumption. Each section of the Akamai booth will represent a key component of OTT workflow including capture, cloud, monitor and consume.

The medical device industry is a global industry.  Globalization offers opportunities to increase revenue and decrease costs; it enriches the innovation that drives the industry by enabling collaboration with subject matter experts from across the globe; and it also enables medical device companies to establish global network relationships with suppliers, manufacturing sites, distributors and customers around the world.

HTTP Strict Transport Security (known as HSTS for short) is a security signal that instructs the browser to attempt all requests to your website using HTTPS. In short, with HSTS enabled, a modern browser will never attempt to visit your site on HTTP. Furthermore, the browser remembers this instruction for an amount of time you set. So the next time a user visits your website, their browser won't attempt a HTTP request.

BillGates Malware used in DDoS Attacks

By Bill Brenner, Akamai SIRT Senior Tech Writer

Akamai's Security Intelligence Research Team (SIRT) continues to see the BillGates trojan/bot family of malware being used to launch DDoS attacks. Attackers who control the malware -- first disclosed on a Russian IT website in February 2014 -- can gain full control of infected systems.

Akamai SIRT member Tsvetelin Choranov led the research effort outlined in this advisory.