This week’s installment of “The Friday Five” follows… providing a snapshot of recent global press coverage that demonstrates how Akamai is helping customers move Faster Forward. If you see something interesting, please share it!
- Lessons from Mirai
- Successful bot management
- Security updates slowing computers?
- Tom takes questions in Japan
- Italian intelligence recruiting cybersecurity grads
January 11, 2018
It was just over a year a year ago when the flood gates opened and the packets rained down as a new player made itself known. The Mirai botnet had made it's debut on the world stage. This was a game changer in every sense of the meaning. A botnet had revealed itself to the world that was built on the metaphorical backs of thousands to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This botnet was capable of distributed denial-of-service, or “DDoS” attacks, which could deliver over 600 Gbps of traffic right out of the gate. A staggering, and previously unseen volume up to that point in time.
The malicious code, dubbed Mirai, scanned the Internet looking for devices from its pre-ordained list of over sixty devices that were attached online. These devices had default credentials that Mirai would seek out in order to compromise further devices to add to the collective that topped 2.5 million IP addresses at its peak.
Security needs to be baked into the process from the design stage. Back of napkin, noodling out ideas should have a star with security on it. Many IoT-related devices are consumer grade devices with planned obsolescence built into them but, security must still be considered. Mirai was an example of what can go wrong and unless these issues are properly addressed, it will not be the last lesson that we have to learn.
*Byline article by Akamai Global Security Advocate Dave Lewis
January 11, 2018
Bots are a part of life for any organization doing business online, with many companies estimating that 40 percent of their online traffic is generated by bots. This profusion of bot activity is even more relevant for government agencies as more services move online and constituents expect equally exceptional service from public sector websites as they do from private. With more than 2.54 billion visits from September 2017 through November 2017, U.S. federal websites must be prepared to effectively and securely serve a growing number of visitors—both bot and human. In fact, some government agencies see 60 percent of their traffic attributed to bots.
Traditional IP blocking provides only temporary pain relief until, inevitably, a bot operator detects the block, changes the IP, and starts a new bot invasion. Instead of the traditional approach of simply blocking as many bots as possible, a new paradigm of bot management helps agencies make more real-time and informed decisions on how to handle bot activity. This new model of bot management empowers agency IT to take a proactive approach to detecting, analyzing and making informed decisions on handling all types of bot activity on their websites.
*Byline article by Akamai VP of Public Sector Tom Ruff
January 9, 2018
As the world's biggest computer companies release a wave of software upgrades to fix the big chip security flaws that became public last week, users have feared slowdowns in computers, games, browsers and phones.
“On my own systems, I had patched to current and I had not noticed any appreciable hit to performance when tracking the memory usage on the systems. For some, perception can be nine-tenths of reality,” said Dave Lewis, global security advocate for content delivery network Akamai.
January 12, 2018
Q&A with Tom Leighton - translated summary
Our customers are companies that provide services on the Internet. On the TV, viewers view the same content at the same time, so it was easy to distribute information, but users do different things such as shopping online and watching movies. It is hard to offer things that you want when you want it to suit individual needs. We are providing fast, high quality and secure information delivery service.
We have approximately 240 thousand servers mainly in the vicinity of the major cities of the world, and we can distribute and store contents. Therefore, users can get contents from familiar servers without going to far servers.
If you compare it to shopping, it will take time if you have to go to the manufacturing factory to purchase the product. But, if there is a product in a neighborhood shop, it is easily obtained. Our service realizes that users get the contents on the Internet quickly by placing data in familiar places.
January 10, 2018
After the cases of Meltdown and Specter, after the numerous bank data thefts such as that of Equifax, the Internet blockade caused by the Mirai botnet, the Wannacry epidemic, it has become impossible to sleep peacefully for companies and institutions in the face of the risks generated by cyberspace. This is why Italian intelligence is looking for graduates and graduates in ICT professions. The goal is to recruit them in the defense of national strategic assets and critical infrastructures that allow the company to function: roads, dams, hospitals, airports.
The alarm of Kaspersky's manager is coupled with the predictions of Akamai, according to which the evolution of the Internet of Things - 50 billion people connected by 2020 - is creating an army of dormant bots that in 2018 could be exploited by cyber criminals with devastating effects. A situation that, Alessandro Livrea, Country Manager of Akamai Italy, is determined precisely "From the unstoppable evolution of artificial intelligences and machine learning that will bring with it experiences that are ever more engaging and personalized for users, but also new cyber threats".