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April 2017 Archives

Low Risk Threat: DDoS Extortion Letters

Summary

Adversaries calling themselves the Lizard Squad have been sending businesses extortion letters, demanding payment in bitcoin to prevent a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) or other attack against their applications. These letters have been sent to businesses across the globe and across industries for several years, with little follow-through. These letters appear to come from multiple groups including Lizard Squad, the Armada Collective, and DD4BC, though in many case they are from copy-cat or imposter groups. A new wave of these letters seen by Akamai customers from "Lizard Squad" raise concerns that these threats may be legitimate.

The State of Mobile App Performance

In our previous blog, we saw how a new generation of users are increasing the expectations of a mobile app like never before and identified the three key success criteria for mobile apps: 1) increase customer conversions, 2) drive installs and 3) increase customer loyalty. For this blog we profiled the Top 100 retail apps in the app store to explain how you can leverage Akamai features to meet the three success criteria for mobile apps.

Recursive DNS - The Achilles Heel Of Advanced Threats

We all know what happens whenever anyone or anything tries to access a resource on the Internet. It all starts with a DNS request that translates a URL (www.akamai.com) into an IP address (104.97.77.24):

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Now if we dive a little deeper into the DNS request flow we can see the requester make a request to the recursive DNS infrastructure of either their ISP or their enterprise. In other words recursive DNS infrastructure recurses the DNS hierarchy to return the proper IP address of the intended domain name to the requester.

Inside the Mind of a Cybercriminal
The rise of open source malware, IoT-based threats, and criminal services-for-hire is fomenting a new era in cybercrime. While global cybercrime is expanding and cybercriminals are stuffing their bank accounts, individuals and businesses (especially SMBs) are directly impacted. Many worry about the safety and security of their online experiences and what communication service providers (CSPs) are doing to protect them.

Secure (and Simple) SharePoint Remote Access

SharePoint, Microsoft's 16-year-old flagship file storage and collaboration product, is used by over 200 million worldwide users. Likened to a Swiss Army knife, SharePoint performs so many functions that it has become an integral part of most enterprise IT fabrics. Of course, it is not perfect - no product is. And like many incumbent products, there are always new challengers ready to deliver advanced feature and performance capabilities. Google Apps and Slack come to mind, and even claim to be taking away some - albeit modest - market share.

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I'm extremely excited to announce the release of our very first State of Online Retail Performance report. This report is a semi-annual analysis of the intersection of performance metrics from three different perspectives: IT, business, and user experience.

It's always a thrill to release new research into the wild, and I'm extra thrilled about this particular project.

As our first piece of new research to be released under the Akamai umbrella, it's fitting that this project is also the biggest of its kind in the performance industry. We gathered one month's worth of beacon data from leading retail sites, comprised of our customers who have given permission for their data to be anonymized, aggregated and used in this type of research. This study represents a whopping 27.7 billion beacons' worth of user data - which equates to more than 10 billion user visits.

The 'Audience of You' at NAB

It's all about the "audience of you" as Akamai gears up for next week's 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas. With that phrase, we're talking about helping to deliver the best possible experiences for each and every OTT video viewer. It's not an easy thing to do, but we're demonstrating a host of new products and technology that can help make sure consumers enjoy nothing less than flawless viewing ... anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Among the new products we're showing is Media Acceleration. Just announced in March and available now, Media Acceleration uses technology integrated directly into consumer OTT applications that is designed to enhance the performance of media delivered over the Akamai network and optimize the viewing experience for each individual end user.

Even newer are liveOrigin capabilities that we've added to our Media Services Live solution for live and linear streaming. The system is built from the ground up specifically to support the rigors of 24/7 video delivery and combines critical features such as accelerated ingest, low latency and DVR functionality to help meet the high expectations of today's OTT viewers.

Why moats and castles belong in the past

We are all familiar with the enterprise security approach of treating an organization like a castle, and protecting it with a moat. Moats have been used for perimeter defense since ancient Egypt. While the moat and castle enterprise security approach has worked well in the past it is starting to show its age.