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July 2016 Archives

Is A Picture Really Worth A Thousand Words?

"Judging by the current explosive growth of images on the Internet, a picture may be worth much more than a thousand words," wrote Jason Miller, our Chief Strategist of Commerce, in his recent article - Is A Picture Really Worth A Thousand Words - published in Innovative Retail Technologies.

The Changing Face of Video Game Innovation

Take 5 seconds to reflect over the last 10 years of gaming. It shouldn't be that hard... I recently covered 40 years of game history in one page. Fine, take 20 seconds. In the last decade, what have been the real needle-moving innovations in the video game industry?

Last week, American Banker hosted its brand new conference, Cybersec 2016 in Midtown Manhattan. Penny Crosman (@pennycrosman), Editor at Large, American Banker, did a great job as chair of the event and brought together thoughtful presenters and panelists. There were great insights from leaders in the industry from BBVA, Bank of the West, USAA, Mastercard, U.S. Bank, and many others. It was a fantastic day of information sharing - exactly what we need more of within the Financial Services Industry.

Akamai SIRT details a timeline of DDoS campaigns against MIT

Akamai SIRT has published a new case study detailing a series of DDoS attack campaigns against the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) network. So far in 2016, MIT has received more than 35 DDoS campaigns against several different targets which have been mitigated by at least one of our cloud solutions.

The new case study authored by Wilber Mejia outlining the DDoS campaigns and attack methods utilized can be downloaded here.

 

Reflections on Video Game Industry Inflection Points

We think often about the history of video games in terms of console generations (we're in the 8th, in case you're wondering). I think about the last 40 years of gaming in terms of experience eras; specifically, what kinds of inflection points have come before, and what they felt like for us players.

In June 2012, Akamai launched the "Akamai IO" data visualization tool, with an initial data set that highlighted browser usage across PCs and other connected devices connecting to Akamai via fixed and mobile networks. The data used for Akamai IO is sampled from nearly three trillion requests for content that Akamai handles each day.  It also makes use of Akamai's EdgeScape IP address geolocation tool to help identify IP addresses belonging to mobile/cellular network providers, which allows us to break out connections from those providers separately within the visualization tool. While we feature data from Akamai IO in each quarter's State of the Internet Report, we thought it would be interesting to look at longer term trending for mobile browser usage as part of the MobilePerf blog series.

Akamai Mitigates httpoxy Vulnerability

Dominic Scheirlinck and the httpoxy disclosure team disclosed a vulnerability on Monday, July 18th that affects many PHP and CGI web-apps.

Many origin web applications (particularly PHP and CGI applications) unsafely trust the "HTTP_PROXY" environment variable when generating forward requests. The CGI spec (which PHP also follows) calls for the incoming header to be converted to an environment variable before executing the cgi application. The conversion specifies that "HTTP_" be prepended to the incoming header name. This means that an attacker can set the "HTTP_PROXY" environment variable for a vulnerable application by sending a "PROXY" HTTP header.

One of the most frustrating experiences online is waiting for a page to load, or trying to complete a transaction for that 'must have' item, and being greeted with an unresponsive screen.  In fact, Akamai's 2015 Performance Matters report found that 49% of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less. As consumers' expectations for page load-speed increases, their patience for slow-loading websites decreases. Currently, only 51% of consumers "wait patiently" for a website to load, compared to 63% five years ago.

Speaking at Amazon Developer Day @ Casual Connect

There's no limit to the distance I will travel to loudly proclaim there's too much friction in the video game industry. This month, though, will be tame compared to some of my more recent global treks. I'll be on a panel at Amazon Developer Day during the Casual Connect conference in San Francisco. Akamai has a big team in SF dedicated to the games industry, which makes it feel a lot like home.

I am excited to attend American Banker's new conference, Cybersec 2016 in NYC on July 19. This is a new conference for American Banker and it is bringing together some great speakers from USAA, Bank of the West, BBVA and many other innovative financial institutions. I am particularly looking forward to hearing Frank Abagnale speak - I really enjoyed his book "Catch Me if You Can"!

Akamai set a new peak-traffic record for a live sports event delivered on our platform during last weekend's Portugal-France championship match of the quadrennial European football (soccer) tournament. The 7.3 Tbps peak, which was hit during the match's overtime period, eclipsed the former live sports record of 7.0 Tbps generated by the Argentina-Netherlands semifinal in the 2014 World Cup. The championship match also drove a peak of more than 3.3 million concurrent streams.

Preventing the Necurs Bot from Phoning Home

This story has been told thousands of times before - a botnet is born, a botnet goes down, a botnet tries to get its bots back together. But the story of Necurs is unique.

Akamai's 2nd annual Girls Who Code Summer Immersion program is now underway!   Last Monday, we welcomed 20 high school girls to our Cambridge headquarters to begin their intensive seven week program.  The girls will learn coding fundamentals, participate in field trips, workshops, and receive mentoring from Akamai employees.

Are bots muddying your marketing analytics?

In short, most likely.

Bots have become a hot topic with many retailers lately as security has become a higher priority. Malicious bots can be part of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack or efforts to extract valuable customer data, or both.