Bad Web Bots Account for One in Three Visitors to Sites
Small web sites have to contend with a greater proportion of traffic from nonhuman bots. But large sites pose a bigger target for automated attacks, finds web security firm Incapsula’s latest bot study.Automated Web systems, or bots, conducting a variety of reconnaissance and attack activities accounted for 29 percent of all Web traffic in 2014, according to a report published on Dec. 18 by Web security firm Incapsula. The greatest proportion of bad bot traffic, about 22 percent, were automated impersonators, which gather information from Web sites while posing as legitimate Web crawlers from companies such as Google. Hacking tools scanning for exploitable vulnerabilities made up more than 3 percent and programs attempting to scrape data from targeted sites made up another 3 percent, according to the report. While smaller sites tend to see a much larger proportion of bot traffic and fewer human visitors, all sites garner roughly the same amount of attention from bad bots, Marc Gaffan, CEO and co-founder of Incapsula, told eWEEK. Good bots account for half of all traffic to smaller sites, but a little more than a quarter of traffic to the largest sites. Bad bots account for 31 percent of traffic to the smaller sites and a similar amount—27 percent—to the largest sites, according to Incapsula.
“Any Web site out there on the Internet gets a certain amount of bad bot traffic,” he said. “The same guys are out there scanning every single Web site trying to find ways to get in and to steal information.”