Three APAC countries have fastest broadband

Akamai report highlights South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong's connection speeds, and notes origins of online attacks spreading to many more countries.

South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong have the world's top three highest average Internet connection speeds, according to an Akamai report, which puts the global average speed at 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps).

Asia-Pacific average connection speeds
CountrySpeed in Mbps
South Korea11.3
Hong Kong6.9
New Zealand2.5
Source: Akamai

The Web company said in its second-half 2009 report, the three countries showed the fastest average connection speeds at 11.3Mbps for South Korea, 7.3Mbps for Japan and 6.9Mbps for Hong Kong.

The United States was ranked 19th, with an average connection speed at 3.8Mbps, and the United Kingdom was 25th with 3.3Mbps.

The three Asian countries, together with Taiwan, last year also topped a global FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) ranking for their adoption of high-speed fiber networks.

Akamai's report also noted that Thailand posted a marked increase in connection speed between the first and second quarters of this year, clocking a 24 percent jump. South Korea also showed a 3.2 percent increase, but every other country in the region posted a drop in speeds.

Attack traffic diversifying
Akamai also observed that online attacks were originating from a wider spread of countries. It said attack traffic came from 201 unique countries in this quarter, up from 68 just the quarter before.

"The U.S. and China continued to be the two largest sources of attack traffic, accounting for nearly 45 percent of observed attack traffic in total," it said.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Phishing Work Group (APWG) said in its latest report that the first half of this year saw a spike in the number of unique phishing Web sites detected, which was the second-highest it has recorded, at 49,084 detected in June. The highest was logged over two years ago in April 2007, at 55,643.

The APWG Chairman David Jevans said: "Of even greater concern is the skyrocketing sophistication and proliferation of malicious software designed to steal online passwords and user names.

"New malicious software such as the Zeus trojan, exhibit a level of sophistication that would make the best software programmers envious," he said.

Dan Hubbard, Websense CTO and a contributing analyst to the APWG trend report, said it was becoming increasingly difficult to separate attacks targeted at banking information from those attempting to get user credentials from Web sites such as social networks. Additionally, attacks on non-banking sites may lead to hackers coming full circle and gaining sensitive user banking information, he said.

The number of banking trojan and password-stealing crimeware infections detected increased more than 186 percent between the last quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of this, year, the APWG said.

In an effort to beef up the country's IT security infrastructure and guard against impending threats, the Singapore government Wednesday announced plans to set up an IT security agency, to come under the purview of the nation's Internal Security Department.