Web security firm Imperva just released its annual Bot Traffic Report for 2016, which looks at trends in bot traffic throughout the last year.
In the study, Imperva analyzes over 16.7 billion visits to 100,000 randomly-selected domains on the Imperva Incapsula network to tackle the following questions:
- How much website traffic is generated by bots?
- How are bad bots used in cyberattacks?
- What drives good bot visits to various websites and services?
- Which are the most active bad and good bots?
Key findings from the study include:
- In 2016 every third website visitor was an attack bot, and 94.2 percent of inspected websites experienced at least one bot attack during the 90 day survey period.
- In 2016 ‘bad bots’ accounted for 28.9 percent of internet traffic.
- Impersonator bots were the most active bad bots for the fifth year in a row. In 2016 they were responsible for 24.3 percent of all traffic on Imperva’s network. Impersonator bots are most commonly used to launch DDoS attacks and the most famous ones of today include Mirai, Nitol and Cyclone.
- Bots once again became the majority of website visitors (51.8 percent), a trend driven by an increase in good bot activity.
- Feed fetchers were the most active good bot in 2016, responsible for 12.2 percent of all traffic. The majority of their activity can be attributed to usage of mobile apps, reflecting the shift to mobile by human users.
The data also points to Facebook’s growing mobile user base.
Botnets are in the news today as the BBC has just reported a huge network of Twitter bots has just been uncovered: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38724082.
And investigative security blogger Brian Krebs recently released details about his efforts to uncover the identity of the Mirai perpetrator, Anna-Senphai.