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02 April 2008, 13:02

Four per cent of internet traffic is junk

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Security service provider Arbor Networks has published a summary of statistical data collected over the past year and a half on Internet traffic between around 70 internet providers. The company estimates that some 4 per cent of data traffic consists purely of junk, such as spam or packets used in distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), with peak volumes of up to 1.5Tb per second.

Data packets involved in DDoS attacks alone make up some 2 per cent of total data traffic, sometimes rising to as much as 5 per cent. Arbor's sensors detected roughly 1,300 DDoS attacks per day, with Internet Relay Chat (IRC) servers being the most common target. Arbor says that attacks dwindle around Christmas, New Year's Day, and New Year's Eve. Most of them are reportedly conducted using TCP SYN floods followed by ICMP floods.

Email traffic on port 25 (SMTP) amounts to between 10Gb and 15Gb per second: between 1 and 1.5 per cent of total traffic. Spam accounts for some 66 per cent of email traffic. This, combined with flood attacks, takes the proportion of data trash in total traffic between Internet providers to about 4 per cent.

Arbor has not yet published any exact details or figures, but the firm says it is planning to publish a detailed analysis soon.

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