Bad bots are eating the internet, now accounting for 21.8% of all website traffic

March 30, 2018

Bad bots are eating the internet, accounting for 21.8 percent of all website traffic in 2017, according to a report released today by Distil Networks Inc.

The “Bad Bot Report 2018: The Year Bad Bots Went Mainstream” analyzed hundreds of billions of bad bot requests for insight and guidance on what they’re doing and what companies can do to protect themselves from them.

“This year bots took over public conversation, as the FBI continues its investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and new legislation made way for stricter regulations,” Tiffany Olson Jones, chief executive officer of Distil Networks, said in a statement. “Yet, as awareness grows, bot traffic and sophistication continue to escalate at an alarming rate.”

As Jones pointed out, that awareness of bots has grown thanks to their involvement in the presidential election. But bad bots can be used for a wide variety of purposes, such as web scraping, brute force attacks, competitive data mining, online fraud, account hijacking, data theft, spam and digital ad fraud.

Along with bad bots accounting for 21.8 percent of website traffic, the report found that good bots now account for 20.4 percent of all website traffic, meaning bots overall are now creeping toward half of website traffic with a combined total of 42.2 percent.

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