The spam machine is busy. And it’s not just attacking the social web, it’s taking over the entire Internet. According to study by Incapusla, creator of a web-based firewall application, human traffic accounts for less than 40 percent of all web traffic. That means more than half of the traffic on the web is made up of bots and according to the study, most of those bots are malicious.
The study, which observed more than 1 billion bot visits, identified four kinds of malicious bots: scrapers, spammers, hackers and impersonators.
While the study indicates a 21 percent growth in overall bot traffic, this is attributed to an increase in “good bots.” In other words, “certified agents of legitimate software” accounts for about 10 percent of the increased bot traffic.
Still, malicious web bot traffic increased more than 30 percent, but according to the study, these bots aren’t all spammers. In fact, the study indicates that Google has fought hard to discourage link spam, resulting in a decrease of 75 percent.
Link spam may be down but the Incapsula study uncovered “evidence of more sophisticated hacker activity.” The study called this a group of “unclassified bots with hostile intentions,” that tries to assume a user’s identity by impersonating other legitimate services.
“Where other malicious bots are agents of known malware with a dedicated developer, GUI, “brand” name and patch history, these “Impersonators” are custom-made bots, usually crafted for a very specific malicious activity,” the study says.
According to the study, the increase in this kind of bot is indicative of a rise in targeted hacker activity and cyber-attacks.
Check out the data on the infographic below.