Number of hacker attacks on websites has sharply risen, report says

The number of hacker attacks on websites has sharply risen, and most of them are originating from China, according to a new report on Internet activity.

Akamai Technologies’ Fourth Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report, which was released Wednesday, says reported DDoS (denial of service) attacks rose 75 percent in Q4 2013 compared to the previous year, and were up 23 percent from the previous quarter.

The data was gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, a cloud service for delivering and securing online content, the company said in a press release.

Throughout 2013, the company says its customers reported 1,153 DDoS attacks – a 50% increase from the 768 reported attacks in 2012. In the last quarter of 2013 alone, 241 of those attacks were directed at enterprise and commerce industry websites. Slightly less than half of reported attacks in Q4 2013 were directed at American websites.

In that quarter, China was the source IP for 43 percent of DDoS attacks, followed by the United States at 19 percent and Canada at 10 percent, the report states.

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“Akamai maintains a distributed set of unadvertised agents deployed across the Internet to log connection attempts that the company classifies as attack traffic,” the company said. “Based on the data collected by these agents, Akamai is able to identify the top countries from which attack traffic originates, as well as the top ports targeted by these attacks.”

Despite growth in the number of hacker attacks, Akamai says the average peak Internet connection speed around the world grew 38 percent last year. Hong Kong has the fastest average speeds, while Iran has the slowest.