December 13, 2013
Bots are taking over the Internet.
In fact, bots produce 61.5 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 21 percent over 2012’s numbers, a recent study by Incapsula has revealed.
While a large portion of that growth is attributed to increased visits by good bots such as search engines or SEO-oriented services, malicious bots continue to be a problem, accounting for half of all bot traffic.
Although 31 percent of bots are malicious, Incapsula’s report indicates there are far fewer spammers.
“There is a noticeable reduction in Spam Bot activity, which decreased from two percent in 2012 to 0.5 percent in 2013,” the report reads. “The most plausible explanation for this steep decrease is Google’s anti-spam campaign, which includes the recent Penguin 2.0 and 2.1 updates. SEO link building was always a major motivation for automated link spamming. With its latest Penguin updates Google managed to increase the perceivable risk for comment spamming SEO techniques, while also driving down their actual effectiveness.”
The report said Google has been able to discourage link spamming practices, causing a 75 percent decrease in automated link spamming activity.
Spammers may be on the decline, but hackers are not.
Incapsula says there has been an eight percent increase in the activity of black-hat hackers running unclassified bots with hostile intentions. These type of bots are also likely the reason there has been a surge in cyber-attacks and DDoS attacks in the past year.
“The common denominator for this group is that all of its members are trying to assume someone else’s identity,” the Incapsula report says. “For example, some of these bots use browser user-agents while others try to pass themselves as search engine bots or agents of other legitimate services. The goal is always the same — to infiltrate their way through the website’s security measures.”
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.