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PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai

First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses

Broadband and IPv6 are hot – and distributed denial-of-service attacks and IPv4 are not. Well, that's according to Akamai.

The cache-and-carry-on biz said in its latest State of the Internet report that, for the first time ever, the average connection speed for netizens is more than 4Mbps, meaning your average punter has a "broadband" service.

Of course, that's the speed Akamai is able to monitor; it's the rate of traffic hitting its network of servers that fling out cached video, articles and so on. So, your mileage may vary.

South Korea retains the world's fastest networks, according to Akamai, with an average speed of 24.6Mbps. Hong Kong was a distant second with 15.7Mbps on average, followed by Switzerland and Japan, both on 14.9Mbps. The US ranks 14th in the world with 11.4 Mbps, while Canada was 19th with an average speed of 10.4 Mbps.

In Europe, the UK was 11th in the region and 16th overall, sporting an average connection speed of 11.1Mbps. Six European nations (Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Czech Republic and Romania) are among the top 10 broadband nations in the world.

European carriers are also among the top contributors of IPv6 traffic. Belgium's Telenet, Germany's Kabel Deutschland, and the Netherlands' XS4ALL were among those carrying the highest rates of IPv6 traffic. Verizon Wireless in the US led all carriers with 50 per cent of its traffic being IPv6.

Growth in IPv6 was credited with driving the first ever global quarterly decline in IPv4 addresses, a sign that IPv6 adoption is finally catching on. Available IPv4 addresses are running low, whereas there are oodles of IPv6 address ready to use.

Akamai also noted a positive trend on the security front, as the number of logged distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks fell, compared to the previous quarter, for the second report in a row. The network logged 270 attacks in the three month period to June, down from 283 in the previous quarter and 346 in the fourth quarter of 2013.

China remains the top source of attacks, though the figure only refers to infected machines used in the attacks, not the location of the person behind the assaults. Attackers tend to recruit large international networks of infected computers to carry out DDoS operations – someone in a Moscow bedsit can mastermind an army of compromised PCs in Brazil, for instance.

According to Akamai, 43 per cent of DDoS traffic came from China. Perhaps not coincidentally, China has also been found to have some of the highest numbers of machines running older operating systems that lack modern security protections.

Indonesia was the second largest attack traffic contributor at 15 per cent, followed by the US with 13 per cent, Taiwan with 3.7 per cent and India with 2.1 per cent. The top three countries account for 71 per cent of all attack traffic and the top 10 claim 84 per cent. ®

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