HTTP, HTTPS attacks surge as Indonesia steals China's online-attacks crown: Akamai

Attacks on HTTP have outnumbered attacks on servers via the Microsoft SMB protocol for the first time since 2008, according to research from content distribution network (CDN) Akamai Technologies that also found Indonesia has ended China's long-standing reign as the world's most prolific producer of attack traffic.

The figures, contained in the company's latest State of the Internet report, were among the results of the company's analysis of traffic from over 752 million unique IP addresses – an increase of 19 million compared with the previous quarter – that connected to its Akamai Intelligent Platform during the second quarter of this year.

Indonesia's rise to become the world's largest source of attack traffic was the most significant change, with 38 per cent of the world's attacks originating in the country; by contrast, longtime chart-topper China declined from 41 per cent last quarter to comprise 33 per cent of attack traffic. That figure represented a doubling of the proportion in the previous quarter, which was the first time Indonesia appeared on Akamai's charts at all.

The top ten countries, which did not include Australia, generated 89 per cent of all observed attacks – up from 82% in the previous quarter. The United States continued its decline, dropping from 10 per cent in Q4 2012 to 8.3 per cent in Q1 2013 and, now, just 6.9 per cent of global attack traffic in Q2 2013.

Australia was credited with just 0.1 per cent of attack traffic, putting it on par with Chile, Colombia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, and Peru.

The decline in dominance of Microsoft-DS attacks, which target the port 445 used by Microsoft's SMB TCP file-sharing protocol, was also notable: during the first quarter, the port was used in 29 per cent of all attacks, with Telnet (7.2 per cent), Microsoft Terminal Services (5.7 per cent) and Microsoft SQL Server (5.3 per cent) following up.

In the second quarter, by contrast, Microsoft-DS dropped to 15 per cent while HTTP (Port 80, with 24 per cent of attacks) and HTTPS (port 443, 17 per cent) occupied the top spots. The surge in HTTP and HTTPS attacks was correlated to a surge in those types of attacks from Indonesia, where fully 90 per cent of attacks on ports 80 and 443 originated.

This report marks the first time ever that Microsoft-DS has not been the most-targeted port by hackers.

The Akamai statistics also monitored DDOS attacks based on accounts by Akamai customers, who reported 318 attacks – a 54 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase. Enterprise customers remained the most frequently attacked, with Commerce (91), Media & Entertainment (53), High Tech (23) and Public Sector (17) companies rounding out the top five.

Read more: ​How cybercriminals are exploiting DNS vulnerabilities for disruption and profit

The full report can be downloaded here.

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