Bad Bots Account for Increasing Volume of Web Traffic, Distil Reports

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Bad Bots Account for Increasing Volume of Web Traffic, Distil Reports

Automated scripts and programs, known as bots, are being used for both good and bad purposes. Good bots include things like web search crawlers, while bad bots have malicious intentions, aiming to defraud websites and trick them in some way. According to Distil Networks' Bad Bot Report 2018, 21.8 percent of all website traffic in 2017 was from a bad bot, up by 9.5 percent from 2016. Gambling sites, followed by airline websites, are the top target of bad bots, the 34-page report reveals. Most bots attempt to stay concealed by identifying their user agents as legitimate web browsers. In this slide show, eWEEK looks at some of the highlights of the Distil Networks Bad Bot Report 2018.

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Most Web Traffic Still Comes From Humans

The majority of web traffic in 2017 still came from humans, though bad bots represented an increasing percentage. Distil Networks reported that bad bots accounted for 21.8 percent of website traffic in 2017, up by 9.5 percent year-over-year.

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Bots Are Becoming Increasingly Sophisticated

According to Distill Networks, only 26 percent of the bots detected in 2017 were categorized as being simple, with the remainder either having moderate or sophisticated complexity.

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Gambling Sites Are Top Bot Target

Bad bots impact multiple industry verticals. However, Distil found that gambling websites were particularly impacted, with 53.08 percent of traffic to gambling websites in 2017 coming from bad bots.

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Sophisticated Bots Take Aim at E-commerce

Looking specifically at the impact of sophisticated bad bots, Distil reported that e-commerce sites were a top target, followed closely by health care.

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Bots Attack Sites of All Sizes

Bad bots impact websites of all sizes. According to Distil Networks, 21.74 percent of traffic to large sites came from bad bots last year.

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Most Bots Self-Report as Chrome

Bad bots aim to avoid detection by self-reporting as a web browser. In 2017, 45.48 percent of bad bots self-reported as Google's Chrome web browser.

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Made in the USA

Bad bots can come from anywhere in the world, but in 2017, the leading source was the United States.

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Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Mining Surged in 2017, Symantec Reports

Attackers increasingly turned to cryptocurrency mining operations in 2017, as Symantec finds there was a sharp increase in the volume of attacks across multiple platforms.