Akamai Shields Leading Retailers from DDoS Attacks During Critical Holiday Shopping Period

Cambridge, MA |

Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading provider of cloud optimization services, shielded several leading retailers from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks during the three-day period following Cyber Monday. In addition to several standalone attacks, Akamai observed high volumes of coordinated attacks against five independent Internet Retailer Top 500 1 customers from Tuesday, November 30th through Thursday, December 2nd. The attacks, which were highly distributed, caused some of the websites to experience up to 10,000 times their normal daily traffic. Thanks to protection from Akamai, the retailers were able to sustain the attacks, allowing them to stay in business during some of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Based on industry estimates 2, 2010 holiday sales will represent nearly 24% of an average retailer's total online sales. Combining this figure with calculations for November online retail sales growth 3, Akamai estimates the attacks may have cost the five retailers a total of over $15 million dollars in lost revenue during the three- day period, had they not been thwarted.

"These attacks were clearly deliberate and aimed to hit retailers when it hurts the most," said Pedro Santos, Chief Strategist, Commerce, Akamai. "Additionally, it is one of the few times we have seen a coordinated attack across multiple independent retailers, which speaks to the value of leveraging a globally-distributed platform for security services. Even with five of our customers being simultaneously attacked, Akamai was able to ensure seamless performance without disruption."

The majority of attack traffic against the five retailers initiated from distributed IP addresses out of Thailand, Mexico, Philippines, and Brazil and reached peaks of up to 14 Gbps, with some websites experiencing up to 10,000 times above normal daily traffic.

The graphs below show attack traffic to three of the retailers from November 27th through December 4th. Although overall traffic levels vary significantly among the three retailers, the profiles are the same in-terms of start and stop dates and peaks and valleys in page views per second.

Attacked (anonymous) Ecommerce websites protected by Akamai (Nov. 27th – Dec. 4th) as measured in requests per second

Anonymous Retailer #1 ,

Anonymous Retailer #2 ,

Anonymous Retailer #3 ,

"Hackers are increasingly targeting merchants with sophisticated attacks that are often motivated by financial gain, competitive motivations, or political objectives," says Ted Julian, principal analyst at Yankee Group. "The attacks are particularly detrimental for e-retailers, since every minute a site is down can mean thousands of dollars in lost revenue."

Akamai, which delivers 15-30% of the world's Web traffic, provides a comprehensive range of security capabilities to help customers extend their defenses and harden their infrastructure against massive attacks like those conducted over the 2010 holiday season. With more than 77,000 servers in 1,000 networks operating in 70 countries around the world, Akamai offers the world's largest, most secure distributed computing platform.

For information about Akamai's broad range of cloud-based security services please visit www.akamai.com/security. Additionally, for real-time views of global web traffic, viruses/attacks, and online shopping data, please view the Company’s interactive data visualization tools at http://www.akamai.com/us/en/solutions/intelligent-platform/visualizing-akamai/.

About Akamai

Akamai® provides market-leading, cloud-based services for optimizing Web and mobile content and applications, online HD video, and secure eCommerce. Combining highly distributed, energy-efficient computing with intelligent software, Akamai's global platform is transforming the cloud into a more viable place to inform, entertain, advertise, transact and collaborate. To learn how the world's leading enterprises are optimizing their business in the cloud, please visit www.akamai.com and follow @Akamai on Twitter.

1 - Internet Retailer: http://www.internetretailer.com/top500/ ,
2 - eMarketer: http://www.emarketer.com/blog/index.php/retail-ecommerce-spending-grow-137-q4-2010/ ,
3 - Comcast: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2010/11/Black_Friday_Boasts_648_Million_in_U.S._Online_Holiday_Spending