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Bots Now 'account For 61 Percent of Web Traffic'

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Artist's representation of a botnet.

Credit: Finest Daily

Nearly 62 percent of all website traffic is currently produced by automated software tools, marking a 21 percent increase from 51 percent a year ago, according to an Incapsula study.

Incapsula points to a 75 percent drop in the frequency of spam links being automatically posted, which may have been achieved partially through Google's efforts to make it harder to carry out the practice.

The study also found a 10 percent decline in hacking tool bot activities, including the use of code to distribute malware, steal credit cards, and hijack and deface websites.

Meanwhile, there has been an 8 percent increase in the use of "other impersonator bots," or software that pretends to be a search engine or other genuine agent in order to bypass security measures. The study found that these bots tended to be specially designed to carry out a particular activity, such as a distributed denial-of-service attack that triggers a crash in a server.

Activities among "good bots" grew 55 percent over the year, with the study attributing the growth to increased sampling of the Internet by legitimate services; this could include using bots that crawl sites to index a company's content, obtain feedback about how a site is performing, or preserve content before it is deleted.

From BBC News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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