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May 2016 Archives

The financial services sector is arguably the most advanced private sector for intelligence gathering, security information sharing, and investment in cyber security controls.  For those of us who have been involved in cyber security for the last few years, we have the experienced periods of high threat activity, such as the al-Qassam Cyber Fighters and Operation Ababil, as well as periods of relative calm.

Recently, Dan Shugrue, one of our product marketing directors at Akamai was published in InfoSecurity magazine. His article, Barbarians at the Gate - Shoring Up Web Application Defenses with Client Reputation takes an incisive look at how client reputation monitoring can help bolster web security efforts. Dan argues that as attacks evolve, companies doing business on the web (and who isn't these days)must evolve their strategies for identifying and defending against attacks to be most successful. And a strategy that involves the use of client reputation capabilities to identify bad actors, before they act, is one important strategy to consider.

Machine Learning in Security

I recently started studying for the GMAT and ran into an interesting passage while taking a diagnostic test - a reading comprehension argument by the philosopher John Searle, who was one of the first philosophers to challenge the idea of artificial intelligence. Searle argued that the human brain is not like a computer processor, and that computers are syntactic (rule based), rather than semantic (meaning based) creatures. The diagnostic test question is referring to Searle's thought experiment called the Chinese Room. The idea of the Chinese Room suggests that if you lock a person in a room with rules translating English to Chinese characters, the individual will be able to respond in Chinese to questions written in Chinese. The experiment suggests that no matter how intelligent a computer (person locked in a room) can respond, a program (rules) can not give a computer "understanding", and therefore a computer can not "think" (i.e. "strong AI" does not exist).

Today we are kicking off a new series of blog posts where we will specifically focus on mobile experiences, challenges, solutions, tips, trends and optimizations but most importantly, you will read insight and opinions from Akamai mobile experts. The first post is on mobile SEO and Key challenges for developing and managing mobile friendly web sites and apps.

I recently spent a week in Moscow previewing some exciting indie games coming out of the CIS region (aka, The Commonwealth of Independent States, formed when the former Soviet Union remixed itself in the early 90s). I was struck right away by the concept of immersion, and all its layers.

Bot Management Strategy

It was March 13th, 2:30 AM at night and the customer called everyone on the Akamai account team announcing they were being attacked.  The attacker was locking inventory on their site for hours causing a significant burst in traffic and preventing customers from making transactions. The Akamai Security Operations Center was involved right away and quickly discovered that a bot was behind this attack.  This was a "good bot" just scraping the inventory for pricing data, but it caused havoc for both the infrastructure and the business.

Your game friction problems are fixable

I've seen the thousand yard stare that gets triggered when you start talking to a game developer about all the obstacles standing in their way. Trying to get a player through your marketing, into the install, through the tutorial or first level, and past the first month of play can feel like a horrible escort quest; there seem to be a thousand monsters waiting to take your player away, and they seem to have awful pathfinding... stumbling through the game flow you imagined for them.

There's been a lot of buzz about digital transformation. For me, the transformation is really about service providers delighting their customers. The other day I was speaking with a provider in EMEA that recently did a pilot with our Reach subscriber communications solution to up-sell higher data usage options to subscribers who are at 80% of bandwidth. We see this use case every day, especially as video streaming usage is escalating. The pilot was so successful that they're now rolling out a program to their entire subscriber base. Digital transformation is really about thinking of customers, their changing needs, and device and communication preferences, and meeting them where they are most likely to pay attention.

By Bill Brenner, Senior Tech Writer, Akamai SIRT

Retail was hit hard in Q1 2016 by malicious actors who targeted the business sector with web application attacks. That is among the findings in the State of the Internet Security Report for the first quarter of the year.

Microsoft today announced general availability of Azure CDN from Akamai, an integration of Akamai's global CDN capabilities into the Microsoft Azure cloud platform that allows Azure users to instantly provision and go live with Akamai CDN within minutes. This follows our initial announcement of the partnership back in September, after which a host of companies have successfully previewed the unified solution.

Akamai Gaming Moscow Style

If you happen to be passing near Moscow this week, I suggest two things:

We're discussing the big impact that the entire games industry is going to feel from the shift in how players preorder and purchase games. The AAA studios are driving significant shifts in the preorder model, and it will impact you, whether you're ready or not.

Akamai's Network to Be Powered by the Sun and the Wind

Akamai's purpose is to propel our customers faster forward by making the Internet business-ready: fast, reliable and secure. And now, also green and clean. Today we are committing, by 2020, to reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions below 2015 levels by sourcing renewable energy for 50 percent of our network operations.

By Mike Kun, Manager, Akamai SIRT

Extortion attacks have risen since DD4BC kicked things off last year. DD4BC peaked in July and the Armada Collective took over after that, sending out emails threatening attacks unless the victim(s) made ransom payments in bitcoins.

The most recent round involved many ransom demand letters, but, as far as many observers can tell, very little follow through.

Now we have Lizard Squad, or at least, someone claiming to be that group, spamming over 70 Akamai customers with identical ransom demands, all of which seemed to be copied from the Armada Collective emails.

I've tended to be a bit of a cheap gamer (with appropriate shout outs to my idol and friend Cheapy D). More than looking for great deals on the latest games, I usually just buy LAST YEAR'S amazing games, at a steep discount. Digital distribution, at least on consoles, hasn't caught up to this trend, which means I've been stuck with piles of plastic discs in my house, as a way to take advantage of great prices.

Akamai Security Researcher Or Katz was recently published at InfoSecurity talking about how to defend against web application account takeovers with cloud security intelligence.

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 second of a two-part "series within a series", we will continue our discussion regarding the challenges and importance of prioritization of streams in leveraging HTTP/2 to achieve performance improvement.