Bad bots account for 40% of global internet traffic

Automated bots designed to carry out malicious activities on the web, account for a massive 40% of all internet traffic, according to new research from Barracuda, provider of cloud security solutions.

While many bots are perfectly harmless – such as those used to crawl search engines, there is a significant number of so-called bad bots which are involved in activities such as web and price scraping, inventory hoarding, account takeover attached and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Left unchecked these malicious bots can have serious consequences for businesses and potentially lead to a security breach.

Covid lockdowns resulted in an increased emphasis on digital services, which in turn has led to attackers being quick to exploit this trend. Researchers say that eCommerce applications and login portals are now being targeted by advanced persistent bots.

The Barracuda research found that most bot traffic comes from AWS and Microsoft Azure, the two large public cloud providers. It also noted that the automated bot programs are being developed to mimic natural human activity. While good bots maintain consistent traffic rates throughout the day, the bad bots are being tweaked to mirror trends in how humans use the internet.

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