The question of where attack traffic comes from is one that has a different answer depending on when the question is asked.
For the fourth quarter of 2011, China topped Akamai’s list of the top originating countries for attack traffic. China was responsible for 13 percent of total attack traffic overall, an increase from 8.6 percent in the previous quarter. China takes over from Indonesia, which previously held the top spot at 14 percent, but fell to 7.6 percent in the fourth quarter.
Sandwiched between China and Indonesia in the rankings is the U.S., which was the source of 10 percent of all originating attack traffic in the quarter, up from 7.3 percent the previous quarter.
“China has held the top spot before, including in the first issue of the report in Q1 2008,” said Akamai report author David Belson in an interview with InternetNews.com “I don’t think that this portends a significant trend -– as we’ve seen over the past four years, the top country changes very frequently, and I expect that it will continue to do so in the future.”
In 2011, the “top attack traffic source” title changed hands a number of times. In addition to China and Indonesia, Myanmar (first quarter) and Taiwan (second quarter) also held the top spots during the year. And at the end of 2010, Russia was reported to be in the top spot, accounting for 10 percent of all observed global attack traffic.