China remains the top source for cyberattacks -- report

Nearly half of all Internet attacks came from China last quarter, says cloud provider Akamai. But some of the attacks could have been launched by people in other countries.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read


China is still far and away the top source for cyberattacks around the world, according to the latest State of the Internet report from Akamai.

Surveying the Internet landscape for the final quarter of 2013, Akamai pegged China as the source for 43 percent of all observed Internet attack traffic, far surpassing that of any other country. But that doesn't necessarily mean China is to blame for all those attacks.

Akamai identifies the source of Internet attacks by IP address. As one example listed in the report, a criminal in Russia may be launching attacks from compromised systems in China.

Among other countries, the US was identified as the source of 19 percent of attack traffic last quarter, followed by Canada with 10 percent, Indonesia with 5.7 percent, and Taiwan with 3.4 percent. Overall, Akamai discovered cyberattacks originating from IP addresses in 188 different countries or regions.

Distribution Denial of Service attacks were up by 23 percent compared with the third quarter and by almost 75 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. Just under half those attacks hit Akamai customers in the Americas.

On a brighter note, average Internet connection speeds around the world continued to rise. The global average speed increased by 5.5. percent last quarter to 3.8 megabits per second. The average peek speed jumped by 30 percent to 23.2 Mbps.

South Koreans enjoyed the highest average connection speed at 21.9 Mbps, while those in Hong Kong grabbed the highest peek speed at 68 Mbps. In the United States, the average speed clocked in at 10 Mbps and the peek speed at 43.7 Mbps.

On the mobile front, average Internet connection speeds across various global providers ranged from a low of 0.6 Mbps to a high of 8.9 Mbps. Average peek speeds varied from 3.1 Mbps to above 100 Mbps. Mobile traffic also continued to surge. Looking at traffic data from Ericsson, Akamai found that the volume of mobile data traffic last quarter climbed by 70 percent from the same quarter in 2012.