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I happened to do a tcpdump while leaving my Mac idle, and when I came back after a mere half-hour there were something like 5000 packets involving deploy.akamaitechnologies.com, in which my computer was asking it on port TCP 443 for something, and getting back 1448 payload bytes of something. The actual bytes look garbled, so I have no idea what is being delivered.

I'm inclined to add akamaitechnologies to my Wifi router's list of domains to block.

Anybody know what this data is?

Thanks.

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"in which my computer was asking it on port TCP 443 for something, and getting back 1448 payload bytes of something. The actual bytes look garbled" As RedGrittyBrick noted, that's HTTPS traffic, meaning it's encrypted, so it'll look random unless it's decrypted. –  Guy Harris Mar 12 at 19:25

3 Answers 3

Akamai run a content distributions system used by major websites to provide fast web response on a global scale.

Port 443 is used for HTTPS - the encrypted version of HTTP web-page access.

It is quite normal to see a lot of traffic directed through Akamai.

It may be that Apple use Akamai for secure distribution of software security updates amongst other material. Apple use Akamai as their primary content delivery network


Update:

On July 21, 1999, at Macworld Expo New York, Apple and Akamai announced a strategic partnership to build Apple's new media network, QuickTime TV (QTV), based on QuickTime Streaming Server.[11] Both companies later announced that Apple had made a $12.5 million investment in the company the previous month.[12] Apple continues to use Akamai as their primary content delivery network[13] for a wide range of applications including software downloads from Apple's Website, QuickTime movie trailers, and the iTunes Store.[14]

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akamai_Technologies#Customers

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently launched its iCloud service that allows users to store their music, photos and other documents on the cloud. This content is thus accessible from Apple’s mobile devices and any PC. While this is certainly a shiny introduction from Apple to fuel the growth in sales of its iPhone and iPad devices, it also holds promise for Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM). As a content delivery vendor for Apple, Akamai has an advantage over its competitors

From http://www.trefis.com/stock/akam/articles/61838/does-icloud-hold-promise-for-akamai/2011-06-14

Akamai's servers and Apple's datacenters are being hammered for OS X Lion downloads.

From http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/os-x-lion-awakens-can-akamai-handle-downloads-for-apples-cloud/17901

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2  
Microsoft also uses Akamai, most recently for the Technet and MSDN release of Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012. –  user3463 Aug 16 '12 at 17:34
    
This sounds more like a wish or hope than anything. What if something nefarious is going on? After all we are in the age of warrantless wiretapping etc etc. –  Warren Aug 17 '12 at 1:18
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@Warren: See updated answer. This is a technical Q&A site. Please consider this when you phrase your follow up questions. –  RedGrittyBrick Aug 17 '12 at 8:14

This traffic is to content delivery network, but probably it is AVAST antivirus update.

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For Windows,

netstat -o

shows what PID was using the port the connection is on.

In my case, it was jusched, the Java Update Scheduler.

You can do this in Linux and UNIX with netstat and lsof too.

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