Bad Bots Increasingly Hide Out in Cloud Data Centers

March 30, 2018

Humans accounted for nearly 58% of website traffic in 2017 -- the rest were bad and good bots.

Bots became a household term last year in the wake of Russian election-meddling in the US and their inordinate presence on social media platforms. The population of these malicious bots also grew by nearly 10% last year, accounting for one-fifth of all website traffic.

So-called bad bots also execute online fraud, data theft, and distributed denial-of-service attacks, and despite more awareness as well as moves by Twitter and others to purge them, they continue to dog e-commerce and evolve their tactics to evade detection, according to a new analysis of bot activity by Distil Networks that studied hundreds of billions of bad bot requests on thousands of websites.

Humans accounted for nearly 58% of website traffic in 2017, with the rest bad bots (21.46%) and good bots (20.74%). Good bots include tools like search engine crawlers, while bad bots are everything from trolls to illicit data-scraping tools and proxies for cybercrime. Most bad bots live on gambling (53.1%) and airline (43.9%) websites, and most (83.2%) pose as Web browser-users, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari, and 10.4% as mobile browsers (Safari, Android, and Opera).

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Nearly half of all airline website traffic comes from bad bots
Nearly half of all airline website traffic comes from bad bots