Bad Bots Now Make Up 20% of Web Traffic: Report

April 18, 2019

Researchers say automated 'bot' programs are growing in number, sophistication

Bots — they’re tiny, often undetectable, and they’re causing chaos across all corners of the internet. Now, a new report from an online security firm with operations in San Francisco finds bots are more prevalent than ever before.

Today, Distil Networks released its annual Bad Bot Report, an analysis of what it describes as "hundreds of billions of bad bot requests" attacking websites and mobile phone apps. Distil says these invisible armies are now making up a whopping 20% of all web traffic — with about one in five website requests coming from a bot.

"Bot operators and bot defenders are playing an incessant game of cat and mouse," said Tiffany Olson Kleeman, Distil Networks’ CEO. "Techniques used today, such as mimicking mouse movements, are more human-like than ever before."

A "bot" is a small, autonomous computer program designed to imitate human behavior, to manipulate online services, such as banks and event ticket sellers. Millions of bots can work together in order to accomplish the goals of hackers, corporate spies, and other criminal actors. 

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