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Hacker attacks on websites shot up 75 percent last quarter

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Akamai Technologies' State of the Internet report for Q4 2013 has just arrived, and one stat stands out like a bad rash: DDoS (denial of service) attacks were up 75 percent over last quarter, and 23 percent from the year before. Most of the targets were enterprises, and Akamai said that the likelihood of a repeat hack is one in three -- a 35 percent bump over last year. Such numbers have no doubt fueled demand for services like Google's Project Shield, which shelter businesses behind massive cloud servers that can easily absorb an onslaught. As for the countries of origin? The dubious winner of that prize (by far) was China with 43 percent of all attacks, followed by the US and Canada. The latter nation saw a not-very-polite 2500 percent bump in DDoS attacks over last year -- hopefully not a trend.

Luckily, there were some positive internet stats to balance things out. Global internet penetration was up 3 percent over Q3, with overall speeds 5.5 percent higher. That equates to a worldwide average of 3.8Mbps, even though half the nations in the top ten saw small declines over last quarter. However, modest jumps in the US and Ireland meant that for the first time, the top ten fastest nations all had 10Mbps or higher internet speeds. The best of the best was unsurprisingly Korea, which clipped along at an average of 22.7Mbps.

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