You’ll probably be surprised to learn that the majority of internet traffic – 51.8 percent, to be exact – doesn’t come from humans. It’s the result of those software application that perform automated tasks – better known as bots.
The annual Imperva Incapsula Bot Traffic Report, via Axios, shows that most website visitors are, once again, bots. This had been the case for several years, but 2015 saw bot activity fall below 50 percent. Now, automated software is once again generating more web traffic than people.
The bots are classified into two groups: Good bots, which monitor websites, collect and ferry information, and improve our browsing experience; and Bad bots, which impersonate identities, are used for unauthorized data extraction, create spam, and take part in DDoS attacks.
Amazingly, 94.2 percent of the 100,0000 websites surveyed said they had experienced at least one bot attack over the last five years. The Association of National Advertisers and White Ops estimate that bots cost advertisers more than $7 billion in revenue annually through ad fraud.
The repot highlights some of the worst bots, including trojan Nitol, DDoS bot Cyclone, and password cracker Sentry MBA. There's also an honorable mention for Mirai, the DDoS bot responsible for taking down DNS service provider Dyn, and knocking out a number of popular websites in the process, late last year.
You’ll be happy to know that Good bot activity is once again on the rise, while Bad bot traffic remains around the 30 percent mark, as it has done for the last five years.