Chinese PCs Are Number One Attack Source Again

China has once again beaten all-comers to the dubious honor of world’s number one source of attack traffic, and in so doing kept the Asia Pacific region top of the list globally, according to the latest stats from Akamai.

The content delivery and security firm’s State of the Internet report for Q4 2014 revealed 41% of the world’s malicious traffic came from the Middle Kingdom (down from 49% in Q3).

This is over three times that of its nearest rival the US, which boasted a share of 13% (down from 17%).

After these two there is a big drop to third-placed Taiwan, which had a share of 4.4% (up from 3.8%) and then Russia, which had 3.2% (up from 2.1%).

Regionally, China’s huge share helped Asia Pacific retain its title as number one source of attack traffic with 59% – although this is down from 64% in Q3.

Next came Europe with 19% – up significantly from 11% the previous quarter – and then North America with 15% (down from 19%).

However, reliable attribution in cyberspace is incredibly difficult.

In fact, Akamai admits in the report that China’s position as the number one attack source does not necessarily mean it is the most dangerous and aggressive nation on the map for cyber.

“Note that the originating country as identified by the source IP address is not attribution – for example, a criminal in Russia may be launching attacks from compromised systems in China,” the firm said.

This hasn’t stopped China itself in the past from using statistics to reinforce the political narrative that it is a victim not a perpetrator of cyber-attacks.

Just a week ago, Chinese state media gleefully reported that US IP addresses were to blame for “booming” numbers of attacks on local systems and a doubling of phishing sites.

Elsewhere, Akamai revealed a 20% increase in DDoS attacks from the third quarter to Q4 2014, but said the total number for 2014 (1150) was little changed from the previous year (1153).

The Americas experienced the majority of attacks in the final quarter of the year (54%), followed by APAC (30%) and then EMEA (16%).

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